Sea Island Shoreline

Disya Who WEBE!

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The Gullah/Geechees came together to declare themselves as a nation on July 2, 2000 with international observers and media present.

De Gullah/Geechee Nation Map

The Gullah/Geechee Nation exist from Jacksonville, NC to Jacksonville, FL.  It encompasses all of the Sea Islands and thirty to thirty-five miles inland to the St. John’s River.  On these islands, people from numerous African ethnic groups linked with indigenous Americans and created the unique Gullah language and traditions from which later came “Geechee.”   The Gullah/Geechee people have been considered “a nation within a nation” from the time of chattel enslavement in the United States until they officially became an internationally recognized nation on July 2, 2000.   At the time of their declaration as a nation, they confirmed the election of their first “head pun de boddee”-head of state and official spokesperson and queen mother.  They elected Queen Quet, Chieftess and Head-of-State for the Gullah/Geechee Nation (

Queen Quet is the first elected Chieftess and Head-of-State for the Gullah/Geechee Nation.

The Gullah/Geechee Nation can be reached at

Gullah/Geechee Nation Headquarters

Post Office Box 1109

St. Helena Island SC 29920

(843) 838-1171 or email

The Gullah/Geechee Nation Declaration states:


To preserve, protect, and promote our history, culture, language, and homeland and to institute and demand official recognition of the governance (minority) rights necessary to accomplish our mission to take care of our community through collective efforts which will provide a healthy environment, care for the well beings of each person, and economic empowerment.


As we are the authentic original Gullah/Geechee Nation with direct linkage to our ancestral legacy, we stand as custodians of Gullah/Geechee culture and protectors of our human rights. Henceforth, being the ONLY and TRUE keepers of the Gullah/ Geechee cultural legacy, upon us falls the responsibility to promote in an accurate and positive manner all aspects of Gullah/ Geechee culture by emanating knowledge and healing souls. This process is guided through the release of the full story of the foreparents of Gullah and Geechee ancestral souls and the wisdom of our elders.

WE intend to protect the development and construction of Gullah/Geechee culture through the establishment of appropriate institutions and law by the exercise of our human rights. Presently this is being achieved through and during conferences, workshops, festivals, and other celebrations of culture and the continuation of oral traditions, living history, crafts, skills, and reconnection to the soil. The establishment of this Constitution will guarantee the continuation by the exercise of our minority right to self-determination.

WE will link with organizations, other nations, and institutions that are contributing positively to the cultivation of our nation.insuring that those connections are carried out with dignity and honor.

In the tradition of our foreparents we will record in written form OURSTORY as a living testament to our Gullah/Geechee legacy. We will also broaden our continuum through the use of electronic and video and audio means of documentation. Through the exercise of our human rights, we will be the keepers of this material as we accept the responsibilities of defining ourselves and our ancestors.

WE will preserve, maintain, and reclaim ALL elements of our homeland which will FOREVER be our base of existence as we carry out these goals. With these goals in mind, Gullah/Geechee people take formal recognition of their nation and their human right to self-determination within the context of their minority governance rights, and thereby, the Gullah/Geechee Nation Wisdom Circle Council of Elders, by its hands, spirit and soul undertakes the task of creating and ratifying the first Constitution of the Gullah/Geechee Nation.


The Gullah/Geechee Nation Constitution is 21 pages long.  It is the document of governing principles by which the Wisdom Circle Council of Elders and the Assembly of Representatives operated as the right and left hands of the Head-of-State.

Official flag of the Gullah/Geechee Nation

Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation educates about the meaning of the national flag of the Gullah/Geechee Nation:

In order to keep up with the latest information regarding the Gullah/Geechee Nation, please subscribe to our Gullah/Geechee Nation blog or click on the link below to access it, subscribe to our monthly international ezine “De Conch” by emailing the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition at, watch Gullah/Geechee TV Nayshun Nyews and subscribe for FREE on YouTube, and tune in to Gullah/Geechee Riddim Radio and subscribe for FREE on iTunes.  All a disya gwine le hunnuh kno who webe fa tru an fa sho!  Ef hunnuh wan buy Gullah/Geechee tings, den gwine ta de Gullah/Geechee Nation’s online store: or at fa support we!


  1. Tiffany Mack

    Hello, I don’t know alot about my family roots. But my great, great grandfather was from South Carolina and they always called him a geeche. His full name was Sammy Mack . Is that last name common?

    • Peace!

      There is a Mack Family on St. Helena Island. You should check and see if they are kin to you.

      • Tiffany Mack

        What you said brought tears to my eyes.. Just curious Nelson is also included in the Macks as well. How about Nelson is that last name common? And also Little.. I really want to trace my family history all the back to Africa but I know it’s pointless…

      • Peace Sister Mack!

        There Nelson name is one on St. Helena through marriage. We are not familiar with the name Little on the coast. However, come to the symposium and see how you can connect to your people.

  2. Jamecia

    Hi I Am from Jacksonville, Florida and I want to know are there any Byrd or Newman apart of Gullah/geechee

  3. neil

    Good morning,
    My family doesnt talk about our roots much but I know my maternal grandparents are from Low Country. Are the names Alexander or Anderson common in the area?

    • Peace!

      Those last names are not common here. You need to find out exactly what state and counties they are from.

  4. My paternal grandmother always told us tales about herself growing up as Gullah/geechee in South Carolina (Sea Island). Does the last name “Lewis” sound familiar in that area?

  5. Melvin Turner

    Greetings, my mother’s people are from South Carolina and were referred to as Upland Geechee. One Uncle, whose last name was Sligh,was born in Charlestonia,as he called it, and often talked about the customs and Geechee / Gullah ways. Can you kindly tell me if the name Sligh is a common one amongst the Gullah/Geechee folk?

    • Peace!

      That means that he was from “Upcountry, SC” and is not Gullah/Geechee. However, people were likely using the term “Geechee” in a derogatory way.

      Also, that surname is not common in the Gullah/Geechee Nation. Do some research on the family at the SC Department of Archives and History in Columbia. You will probably easily find records since that is not a common name.

  6. maryann660ac

    is hayes a common name there

  7. Lambert Crichlow

    Peace family,
    I’ve been attempting to reconnect my severed lineage to African, but my family doesn’t (wasn’t afforded) speak on ties dating back to the early 20th century.
    My family names are Whitehurst and Crichlow, do either of those names have any historicity
    with-in the Gullah Nation?

    Thanks and Blessings fam

  8. Lambert Crichlow

    Peace family,

    The surname Whitehurst or Crichlow have any historicity with-in your nation?

    Thanks and blessings

  9. Ruth Commodore Lancaster

    Do you know any Commodores? Please reply any thing you might know about them.

  10. Mary A Blount

    I too was told by my mother who is now 85 years old that my grandfather was a Geeche. The original spelling on the family name was Blunt. My mom told me that my great grandparents left their older adult children in South Carolina and brought my grand father and a few siblings to florida. I would like to know if the name Blunt is one in the land today or if it was there in the past.
    I am trying to find my whole self.

    Thank you for your time.

    • Peace!

      Have you simply researched South Carolina areas named “Blunt”? Check with the SC Department of Archives and History in Columbia, SC.

  11. Mary A Blount

    This is my second time contacting you.
    I am searching the SC archives, but in the mean time I would like to know if
    Buffit County SC is in Gullahgeechee land.
    I found this on my moms birth certificate as the place where my grandfather was born.

    Thank you.

    • That is likely an incorrect spelling of “Beaufort County, SC.” This happened a great deal on written documentation.

      • Mary A. Blount

        Yes, you are correct. So is this county part of the Gullahgeechee land.
        I do plan on attending some of your events if it is.
        May still come even if it’s not.

      • Mary A. Blount

        With the correct spelling, would this county be in Gullahgeechee land?
        I plan on visiting with my family, but need to know this information first.
        Please forgive me for so many questions. I just need to know because if it is I will have completed my grandfathers side of the family tree.

        Thank up so much.

      • Yes, Beaufort County is part of the Gullah/Geechee Nation.

  12. Hello doin further research… I found a slave being bout by the city Savannah. then seemingly sold to a Liptrot family in Burke County. does that show up in your records at all?
    it seems he was bout from a M. Slaighter straight from the ship. possibly The Wanderer.

    • We do not know of a “Burke” county, but there is “Berkeley County, SC.” You need to check records at Savannah Library and historical society regarding Liptrot to see if you find anything further.

  13. Stacey Robinson


    I am so humbled and inspired by your work. Thank you!!
    I have just learned that my Great Great Grandmother Cornelia Hamilton was born in 1860 on St. Helena Island. Hamilton was her married name, we believe her maiden name was Wright (but we are not totally sure of that). We know that she was married to Reverand Abram Hamilton and that she passed in 1930.
    Do you have any record of our Great Great Grandma?

    Blessings and appreciation.

    • Peace!

      We recommend you check with the SC Department of Archives and History in Columbia, SC for records that may contain her name if you have lost contact with relatives on St. Helena Island. The relatives are the best resource.

  14. Corin

    My family carries some gullah traditions in regard to root work. However we are traced back to the slaves of St. Catherine’s island which is off of Georgia. Ive always understood us to be Gullah, but based on this site I need to do more research.

    • Peace!

      St. Catherine’s is in the Gullah/Geechee Nation. The people of African descent in that area are predominately Gullah/Geechee.



    • Peace!

      That surname is not common in the Gullah/Geechee Nation. There may simply be similar African traits. Not all people of African descent in the Carolinas are Gullah/Geechee.

  16. Marquis Mackins

    My maternal family’s oral history says my great great grandmother was owned by and enslaved on a Sanders plantation. Through research, I found out that it was common that slave owners from that area would migrate to the town that I’m from (York, SC) during the summer months. I would assume that they would’ve brought some of their slaves with them. I can’t find any reference of a Sanders plantation in this local area… Is there a Sanders plantation in the local Charleston area?

    • Sanders Plantation is not one in the Gullah/Geechee Nation. Keep in mind that York, SC is also not in the Gullah/Geechee Nation. Plantation owners on the coast were not generally the same ones that were as far inland as York. So, it would be best for you to search in the midlands and upcountry for the area that you are seeking. Your family is most likely not Gullah/Geechee being from York. Check with the SC Department of Archives and History for records of the York Plantation as well as the birth and death records of people in your family.

      • Taufiq Hassan

        My family is from Goose Creek and North Charleston, SC most have moved away my grandmother moved to NYC when my father was a baby. I believe that is the Low Country. I had an uncle who passed and he sounded like he was from the Caribbean and was very hard to understand. I was very young then and didn’t pay any attention to it. Recently I have been very interested in the history of my family and the area. Is Goose Creek and North Charleston a place Gullah Geechee people are from ?

      • Peace!

        It sounds like your uncle spoke Gullah or Geechee or both. Yes, Goose Creek and North Charleston are both part of the Gullah/Geechee Nation. Gwine ta fa see de map.

      • What is the difference between Gullah and Geechee languages?

  17. Akwasi Maru

    My great grandfather name was Albert Knight from South Carolina but I don’t what part is Knight a surname in Gullah. I’m also from the Temne tribe

    • Peace!

      We haven’t met too many folks with the last name “Knight” in the Gullah/Geechee Nation. If you can locate some birth and death records of the oldest folks of your family, check for the counties where they were born.

  18. Melvin Turner, Gullah is the language and Geechee is a dialect of the Gullah language or the pidgin of the language. Make sure to go to on YouTube and see the series of videos on our language.

    • Thanks for the response! My Ancestors from South Carolina spoke Geechee! I have always admired the way they spoke!

  19. Antonio Mitchell

    Hello. My mother always told me that my great grandfather was Geechee. Much of my family history was slightly unknown til most recently 1 family members applied for and ancestry report. My great grandfather was boring in Savannah Georgia during the 1860s. He bared the last name of Mitchell which was also the same as his mother and father. Is Mitchell a common name?

    • Peace!

      Mitchell is not a common name per se. However, you should see if you family has a link to Mitchelville on Hilton Head Island, SC here in the Gullah/Geechee Nation. Check with the Heritage Library on Hilton Head for genealogical resources in this regard.

  20. Tracey Minton

    My Grand Father’s name was George Williams he lived in Lafette
    Louisiana he was a GeeChee. He was my mother’s father my Mother roots start in Camden Ark…

  21. Tracey Minton

    My Grandfather’s name was George Williams he was GullahGeechee does that name have any relatives…

    • Peace!

      There are numerous Williams’ Families here along the SC coast.

  22. Diana

    my name is Diana Johnson. My father left South Carolina years ago. He is a Geechie. matter of fact that is his nickname. his real name was William Johnson. Lots of them whew!am its hard to find him. His parents name were Sara Jorden and Benjamin Johnson. I guess Jorden was her maiden name. He left in early 1940s, He claims he was the only child but he never went back and told me various lies with some of the truth. Please help me connect to them I feel I have been cheated out of my heritage and I am completly innocent. im older and more sick these days but i need to do this for i have been at it all my life.. hit me up on facebook, please explain i dont open lots of email. thanks

    • Peace!

      Do you know what part of South Carolina he left? If so, we recommend that you contact the Department of Archives and History in Columbia, SC and seek out the birth and death records for family members with that same surname. However, with such a common surname, it is going to be difficult without specific names of other family members. We pray the lies are not in the names.

  23. Danielle Smalls

    My name is Danielle A. Smalls .I am the granddaughter of Alan Moultrie Smalls and Josephine Smalls of Charleston, SC. I grew up knowing I was of geechee culture by my grandmother. Please email me and let me know how I can support the nation as well as reunions and festivals.

    • Peace Sistah Smalls!

      Tenki tenki fa de support! Continue to follow this blog for postings of the numerous events including our international festival when the Gullah/Geechee Reunion takes place ( In addition, read De Conch each month. Here is the link to the latest edition: which will provide you additional info on coming events. Also, please join the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition ( See hunnuh soon ya!

  24. Are there any Medlock ‘s from Georgia among you?

    The prayer of the African Spirit is almost identical to the opening chapter in the Koran.

    • Peace!

      De African Spirit is practices Islam.

      We are not aware of any Medlocks throughout the Gullah/Geechee Nation.

  25. Brent Sumler

    Is Ware a common surname?

    • Peace!

      No Ware is not a common surname in the Gullah/Geechee Nation. We have seen this name in the deep south though.

  26. Melissa Hincher

    I live in Beaufort, SC and am hoping to find someone in the local Gullah community who is experienced with folk remedies (specifically I am looking to cure a wart on my daughter’s foot). Do you have any idea how I might could locate someone in the area? It’s not like I can look up a folk healer in the yellow pages! Thank you!

    • Peace Melissa!

      Aren’t you associated with elders from the island? If so, speak with them. We cannot post such folks info to you online for the same reasons they are not in the yellow pages and more.

  27. Terry Conward

    Is Short a common surname in Gullah? My grandfather’s name was Harry Short and he referred to himself as Geechee.

    • Peace Terry!

      That is not a common Gullah/Geechee surname, but it is known in inland areas of GA we have found.

  28. Melanie

    Hello. I know you get these comments all the time but I am in the process of doing my family tree. I don’t know much; however, my mother and great-uncle have mentioned that either on my great grandmother or great grandfather were Geechee. Is Booker a surname of the Geechee?

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