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 (www.QueenQuet.com).

www.QueenQuet.com

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 GullGeeCo@aol.com

The Gullah/Geechee Nation Declaration states:

Mission

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.

Goals

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.

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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 GullGeeCo@aol.com, 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: www.gullahgeechee.ecwid.com or at www.gullahgeechee.biz fa support we!

479 Comments

  1. Morgan Stevenson

    Peace and Blessings Sister! Is there any information about group trips to the island(s) for a group of young students (middle school aged) ? It would be life changing for some of our children to “connect” to the rich culture that is a hidden legacy. Thank you in advance for your presence and purpose….

  2. Catherine Williams-Haynes

    Is it possible to trace regarding a person’s roots originating as a slave from Barbados in the Caribbean and brought to the Carolinas?
    If so how can such process?

    • Peace!

      You should check with the Charleston Public Library’s Carolina Room on Calhoun Street in South Carolina to begin this process.

  3. Natasha Sims

    Shalom, Queen! I am curious if Sims, Joel and Jackson are surnames common in the Gullah Nation, specifically around Charleston. Thanks!

    • Shalom!

      Jackson is the only name that is found here and it is questionable if the name is not from some migrating from inland to the coast. It is not heard a great deal, but it is here unlike the other names. The Sims name we have found amongst Gullah/Geechees in Mississippi though.

  4. Reginald F. Elam

    I’m just curious about the name “Elam” would it happen to be a common name in the Gullah/ Geechee culture. I’m almost sure it was a Surname in the main land.Could you send me tour information because I would like to visit the Islands for some fact finding, for religious and cultural purposes.

  5. Born n raised in Columbia dirty South Carolina
    Know that some of my people are children of the dust
    Love to visit the nation … soon!!!

  6. Irma Robinson

    So happy to be reconnected Gullah Geechee Nation. My email had changed.

  7. Cookie Barney

    I saw a documentary recently about Gullah gentrification. It seems that the nation is in need of lay people to assist. Im available to help in whatever capacity you require. I attended the May festival a number of years ago when it was in Beaufort. I would love to attend another one and even volunteer to help if I can.

  8. John Adoboli

    What was the name of the VICE broadcast? Is there a link available?

  9. Kae

    Hello! I have family in South Carolina and was wondering if any of these surnames were common to the Gullah people : Thrower, Jones, Keitt, or Keampton?

    • Peace!

      Thrower is in Charleston, SC. Jones is in Beaufort County, SC. The other names we are not familiar with.

      • Kenya

        I have family in South Carolina, are Bowman, Tull, Roberts or Dixon common surnames among the GeeChee?

      • Peace!

        There is a Bowman, SC, but none of these names are very common. We have seen Dixon and Roberts living on the coast, but many of them migrated to the coast from inland.

  10. Cheryl

    hello I am contacting you because my great-grandfather last name was Holmes. my grandmother shared that he was teased because of his accent. they said he was a Geechee. he came from up the coast of Florida and he was blessed with a profound gift of wisdom which was inherited to my grandmother and now on to me I am very much interested in connecting with my people please email me my name is Cheryl

    • Peace Cheryl!

      We have a LOT of members of the Holmes Family up and down the Gullah/Geechee Nation! What part of Florida was your grandmother from exactly? Also, were they SC or GA folks that moved to FL?

      We pray that you and the family come to the “Gullah/Geechee Reunion” and reunite with other Holmes there! Gwine ta http://www.gullahgeechee.info.

      Peace!

  11. Khocolate

    Are Bowman, Tull, Dixon or Roberts common names among the GeeChee?

    • Peace!

      There is an area named Bowman, SC. However, that is inland SC and not on the coast. Most of these last names are actually inland and not coastal surnames. There are some Dixons in Charleston, SC which is within the Gullah/Geechee Nation though.

  12. Simari

    Hello! My father’s entire family were born in Savannah, GA and I have no clue about their history. Would the surname Young possibly be connected to the Gullah people?

    • Peace!

      Savannah, GA is part of the Gullah/Geechee Nation. Also, there are definitely Gullah/Geechees that are part of the Young Family. Some are in Beaufort County, SC.

    • Luqman

      Did you have any family around the Georgetown/ Andrews, SC area? I’m a descendant of Dave Young and Anne Gore.

  13. Jarrett irby

    Are Irby,or Cherry a common surname?? I am curious as I have heard stories about relatives who are from south Carolina but I am unsure if this is true. Blessings!

    • Peace!

      The Irby name is one family in Beaufort, but we are not sure that they are Gullah/Geechee because that and the Cherry names are not common surnames here.

  14. Ezekiel E Metz

    Please give me some information on how can I obtain a flag and correspondence from GGnation

  15. Leetha

    Are the Pitt or Merrell a common surname?

  16. Mrs. Maxwell

    Was there Nigerian slaves sent to the nation cities during Slavery, I am aware that many were sent to coastal areas of Virginia, and Ga sea islands?

    • Yes, there were Nigerians that were enslaved and brought to the Sea Islands of the Gullah/Geechee Nation which includes the islands in Georgia.

      • Helen Torok

        I am encouraged by this response as for some years I have commented and not received any replies. I have traveled to Nigeria and considers myself a scholar in Black History as it applies to African Americans and my relationship with the country of Nigeria. While in Nigeria in ‘1992’ I was fortunate to research my maiden name and found it ‘ODUM/ODOM/ODOMES, all variations as used by my relatives in Savannah, Florida, and nearby areas.
        My Great-grand-mother was a ‘Thomas, a slave who spoke no English, she did however spoke speak Gullah/dialect and I learned to sing songs at the age of three which amused my family and I still sing them during Black History month in my present home state of Pa. I still would like to know if the names posted here are recognized in a slave museum history there. I know that there are Northern Europeans that uses ‘ODOM’ a shortened, version of a much longer name they had upon arriving in America. My Great Grandmother was married to a Thomas, her maiden name was African..she was a recorded ‘113’ years old when she passed in the early 40’s.. her descents look Nigerian-Asian and Native, it was rumored that she was ‘127’ unrecorded, she received land from Lincoln in the area around Kildare Ga., and it remains in our ‘Thomas’ family extended relatives, some was confiscated by the Railroad. There are other Thomases’ who are confirmed as Gullah /Geechees.
        On my Maternal side, they originated from S.C., and was mostly Mulatto/English/African/Native, the oldest relative I knew from this side was born in ‘1865’ and passed in ‘1963’. Slavery was a limited conversation as many passed for white around Columbia and blended with the upper middle-class/plantation community. Their names are: McWhite,Corley,(Murphy, Boatwright ..most sounded/ spoke Geechee and were slaves/mulattos in S.C. before moving to Savannah, Sylvania , Ga.area.

      • Peace Helen!

        There are two slavery museums in the Gullah/Geechee Nation: “The Slave Relics Museum” in Walterboro, SC and “Old Slave Mart” in downtown Charleston. To our knowledge, these two places do not record such information nor present it. Tenki Tenki fa sharin hunnuh famlee storee.

  17. Elizabeth Shoffner

    My family is from South Carolina our family names are Stephenson (Stevenson), Pinckney, and Orr. They were from Ridgeland, and Tillman SC. Hampton, Roberts, Beaufort and Jasper Counties Is there any information you can give me to start my search. Thank you, Elizabeth.

    • Peace!

      Look for the names of family members on deeds if you all still have property in those areas. Track the birth and death certificates of those family members names at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Most of all, come back to those counties and sit down with the elders of the family to learn more than you can find through papers.

  18. Mrs. Maxwell

    Are Scott, Maxwell, Wright,Bersteiner,Davis, Grant, Walker,Poole, Drayton, Phillips family names among the nation? Thank You!

  19. Joanne Duncan-Carnesciali

    Good morning. I thank you for your attention to my request. My father who has now passed would often tell us he was Gullah Geechee. I am happy to find your website. The slave name that was given to my father’s family is Duncan. He was born on Pawley’s Island, South Carolina. I believe it is the Georgetown area. Would you be willing to tell me whether the name Duncan is familiar to that area. Thank you very much.

    • Peace!

      Duncan is not a large family here. However, Pawley’s Island is part of the Gullah/Geechee Nation and it is definitely in Georgetown County, SC. You can likely find more information about your family by simply contacting Duncans that are still there and also via the SC Department of Archives and History records in Columbia, SC.

  20. Iesha

    My family is from savannah and our family name is Lee do you know some Lee’s????

    • Yes, we do! Some may be at the “Gullah/Geechee Unity in the Community” in Savannah, GA on the third weekend of September in fact. Join us on River Street!

  21. Louise B Barnes

    I was very happy to find information of Gullah Geechee people. My mother passed in 2013 at the age of 94. Is the surname Fleming, Flemming, or McNeil familiar to Gullah Geechee? They are from Chesterfield SC.

    • Peace!

      Chesterfield is in upcountry, SC and is very far from the Gullah/Geechee Nation. Those surnames are not ones that we tend to hear here unless someone moved to the coast with them.

  22. Funmilayo Olabintan

    My name is Funmilayo Olabintan from ilaro in Ogun State Nigeria but lived all my life in lagos, I would love to learn about the history of Gullah/Geechee Nation.

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