Thesis Development Blog

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Thesis Development Blog

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The reclusive Binyah or Gullah society on Daufuskie Island is one of the least recognized cultures in the United States. Descendants of the West African slave trade, they live their lives happily without cars, computers, shopping malls and credit cards. You can only reach them by boat. Twenty miles off the coast of Hilton Head Island, you will find the residents living in small vernacular houses with traditional Caribbean and Kongo design elements. Fishing, family, religion, art and cooking are some of the integral facets of the culture. More than 2,500 residents were living on the island 100 years ago, but sadly, there are less than 20 residents left today. Many have moved to the Sea Islands or to other coastal towns in the Gullah-Geechee corridor, others have integrated into mainstream American culture.

So exactly who are each of the last remaining Gullahs on Daufuskie? How do they live their daily lives? With minimal U.S. or State presence, what is the system of governance? No culture should fade away in silence.

My thesis will attempt to answer these important questions and this blog will help to both stimulate and track the process. It will serve as a communication link to various groups involved in cultural preservation efforts, as well as a loading dock for research. All of my interviews and trips to Daufuskie will also be posted on this site.

Written by katerose7296

September 13, 2009 at 10:35 am