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Dwelling Place: A Plantation Epic - Essay Example

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The Gullah Community Introduction It is interesting to note that despite the powerful influence of global society evolution, some cultures remain very resilient to influence of cultural dilution and change. The Gullah community is one of the communities in the world that has retained its cultural identity and heritage despite its location in the middle of very different western culture…
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Dwelling Place: A Plantation Epic
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Dwelling Place: A Plantation Epic

Download file to see previous pages... Other authors have also made investigations on the community. This essay discusses the Gullah culture by investigating the history, origin, cultural identities, and other aspects of this community. Historic Origin Gullah community refers to a cultural group of people living in South Carolina and some parts of Georgia. Gullahs are mostly concentrated on the coastal region where growing of rice is more common. Geechee is a term used to refer to Gullah people and their language. It is argued that Gullah’s are the most culturally preserved people living in United States. It is believed that Gullah community originated from West Africa probably in the region between Liberia and Sierra Leone. This does not come by surprise since these regions are well known for their historical proficiency in growing rice as the main economic activity. South Carolina and Georgia region was a very viable rice-growing region and thus the whites deemed it necessary to import slaves from rice growing regions in Africa to come and work as slaves in these regions. This led to a massive importation of slaves into this region. It is interesting to note the reasons behind such a strong cultural preservation. The Gullah’s brought with them the most needed expertise and experience in rice growing. The climatic conditions of South Carolina and Georgia rice growing region was unfavorable for human survival due to prevailing harsh weather and presence of water borne diseases. Gullah’s had inherent disease resistance to these diseases and thus they were able to tolerate diseases. The whites, being vulnerable found it difficult to survive in this region. This gave the Gullah’s an undue survival advantage thereby increasing in number more than the Native Americans in this region do. Being many in number, Gullah has dominated the area and cemented their cultural values without external influence from the American community. Although the culture and origin of Gullah community is interesting, the predicaments of enslavement for these people are saddening. According to Clarke, “masters had used the weapons of the powerful and organized military, the threats of whip, auction block and gallows, the claims of superiority, and the styles of speech and dress that intimidate”1 The primary objective of the whites was to get as much work output from Gullah slaves as possible by use of these enslavement techniques. On the other hand, Gullahs were not willing to yield to such harsh treatment. They always tried their level best to ensure that the whites get the least out of them. most of the techniques used include “foot dragging and playing dumb, gossip that threatened the reputation of owners, and secret scorn for the pretentions of the masters”2. Indeed the Gullahs must have had it rough. The slave masters tried to engage them into other activities besides rice cultivation. It is believed that the whites tried to use the slaves for cotton cultivation as well as. Gullahs sometimes underwent very dehumanizing and traumatizing experiences during sale auctions. Slave auction is arguably one of the most inhumane treatments a person could experience. The Jupiter family demonstrated predicaments of slave trade well. The Jupiter fami ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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