Tag Archives: praise house

Gullah/Geechee Songs and Spiritual Technology

The Spiritual Technologies Project team made a journey to historic St. Helena Island and to Macintosh County in the Gullah/Geechee Nation in order to document the continuing legacy of hymn lining which started in the praise houses and continues to be retained in the churches today.

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Continuing Gullah/Geechee African Reconnections

As we traversed the roads through the valleys and then up into the mountains, I gave thanks for the strength of the women here that I saw hauling items on their backs on the dirt roads and herding the animals. They reminded me of my mother and the elder mothers of my island and all the hard labor that they had gone through while hauling babies on their backs and baskets on their heads as some of these women were also still doing. I thought about the many early mornings that I awoke and traveled fo dayclean ta de field. I could feel myself balancing my neck as I saw other women with the baskets on their heads the way I carried mine in the fields and how I still carry them on stages now around the world and bring out our continuing African traditions from them for groups of people that still want to learn how we thrived and survived.

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A Gullah/Geechee Charge to Keep

“A charge to keep I have. A GOD to glorify!”

I have sung these words for the majority of my life, but I never realized how they would be spoken into existence. As I heard the words lined on St. Helena Island growing up and learned to respond along with the rest of the congregation, I never for once thought of the historical context of the entire ritual. Every praise house and church that I went to in the Gullah/Geechee Nation had this tradition, so I didn’t think it was unique. I found out as a traveled that it was not done in other places. I have come to see it slowly fading away.

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