Gullah Museum – Georgetown, South Carolina - Atlas Obscura

Gullah Museum

Georgetown, South Carolina

A unique museum that uses visual art and storytelling to reveal the hidden history of the Gullah Geechee and their African ancestors. 

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Interested in learning what language you’re speaking when you sing “Kumbaya?” Curious about where the expression “40 acres and a mule” comes from? Want to know where gumbo was invented? (Spoiler alert—it wasn’t in Louisiana.)

Stop by the Gullah Museum in Georgetown, South Carolina. These questions and more are answered by a visit to this family-run, one-room museum designed to educate visitors about the rich history and culture of the Gullah Geechee, and how they shaped America. The museum uses a wide variety of displays, artifacts, and 3D “story quilts” to convey history in a uniquely visual way.

Who are the Gullah Geechee you ask? They are the descendants of the enslaved Africans brought specifically to the marshlands of South Carolina in the late 1600s—and later Georgia, Florida, and North Carolina—to grow rice and make indigo dye. Because of their isolation on coastal and barrier island plantations, they preserved many elements of their African heritage to create a truly unique culture and the first English-based creole language in the United States known as Gullah.

The museum showcases the knowledge, skills, and culture the Gullah Geechee’s ancestors brought with them from Africa—from the architectural element we call the front porch to the musical genres that make up the American songbook, to the origins of cattle ranching in the United States. 

Know Before You Go

The museum is open year-round from Monday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can do a self-guided or guided tour. Choose the guided one to get the most out of your visit. The museum has a small seating area where you can watch informative and entertaining videos about the history, arts, food, and music of the Gullah Geechee.

In partnership with KAYAK

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