Cynthia Porcher has completed a five-year study of the Gullah culture in South Carolina and Georgia at the request of the National Park Service. She concentrated on the five counties of Beaufort, Charleston and Georgetown in South Carolina and Glenn and McIntosh in Georgia, trying to learn all she could about the culture and to also dispense with the multitude of myths surrounding these people and their past history of slavery.
As a white woman in a black culture, Porcher had to first gain the trust of those she wanted to interview. Once that was accomplished, she was able to learn about their beliefs, language, and the crafts of net-making and basketry that have sustained these peoples for generations.
The National Parks System, local and State governments are trying to protect these peoples from land development, which would rob them of the natural environment they are so dependent on.
Read more about this basketry topic in the Island Packet, December 26, 2005 issue online newspaper at http://www.islandpacket.com/news/state/regional/story/5422868p-4898520c.html (expired link).