More than Brer Fox and Brer Rabbit, Gullah folklore claims a rich cultural heritage, yet few beyond the Carolina coast know much about it. However, it is growing in both popularity and interest, as attested by recent scholarly and entertaining examinations of the dialect and stories.
The author, Ambrose E. Gonzales, realized Gullah’s unique appeal some seventy-odd years ago.“This Gullah dialect is interesting, not merely for its richness, which falls upon the ear as opulently as the Irish brogue,” he wrote, “but also for the quaint and homely similes in which it abounds and for the native wit and philosophy of its users.”
Gonzales collected many Gullah stories with such captivating titles as “The ‘Wiles That in the Women Are,’” “Mingo the Drill Master,” and “Conductor Smith’s Dilemma.” A handy Gullah glossary is included as well, to aid the reader in interpreting the dialect.
Today, Gullah is alive and well. Virginia Mixson Geraty, the world’s foremost authority on Gullah and Gullah instructor at the College of Charleston, is the author of Gullah Night Before Christmas and narrator of the companion audiocassette. Both are published by Pelican.