By Katherine Tandy Brown
Four miles east of Beaufort, St. Helena Island is the recognized center of Gullah culture.
During the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King Jr. spent time in retreat there at Penn Center. The Gullah community boasts a rich tradition of worship, beliefs, music, art and language. The York Bailey Museum houses an important collection of historic photographs. At Penn Center, Gullah descendants weave intricately crafted sweetgrass baskets, some of which are on display in the Smithsonian.
On a Gullah-N-Geechie Mahn Tour, groups hear storytelling in the Gullah language and learn Gullah history and traditions.
“Our customized options include a Lowcountry boil and demonstrations of basketmaking, shrimping and crabbing,” said Seretha Tuttle, tour operator.