Gullah Geechee Community Ring Shout held in Bolivia

Gullah Gechee Ring Shout
(Photo: WWAY)

BOLIVIA, NC (WWAY) —Many community members gathered to enjoy a piece of the Gullah/Gechee culture, attending the first Gullah/Geechee Community Ring Shout on Saturday.

The Gullah/Geechee people are descendants of enslaved Africans who were brought to the coastal Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida. The “ring shout” was practiced by them as a religious activity.

The Gullah/Geechee ring shout was held from 1pm to 3pm at Davis Event Hall. During the ring shout, participants moved in a circle, clapping their hands, and created a rhythm. One person led the ring shout by singing traditional cultural songs, and participants would sing in a call-and-response fashion.

There was also music, vendors, food, games, and a best dressed contest for those wearing West African attire or all white.

Tyrone Hill, event coordinator, and a direct descendant of the Gullah/Geechee people from Eagles Island said the event was held to encourage unity, and to share and preserve the Gullah/Geechee culture.

“There is a need for us to become more aware of our history to understand why we are where we are now and if we respect that, we embrace that, then we can begin to make the changes that we need to make now, to make a better future for the collective,” said Tyrone Hill, ring shout event coordinator.

“We’ve been educated today, because I’ve heard of Gechees, but I’ve never hear the background or the history of the Gullah/Gechee community, and it has been wonderful,” said Sharonda Hankins Davis, owner of Davis Event Hall.

The Chieftess and Head of State for the Gullah/Geechee nation Queen Quet, was a special guest at the event, and Brunswick County NAACP president Carl Parker spoke about Brunswick County’s history in connection to the Gullah/Geechee people.

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