The Gullah Geechee people of the Low Country and Sea Islands of the Carolinas, Florida and Georgia represent perhaps the best-preserved example of our nation's African cultural heritage. The Gullah Geechee's ancestors were kidnapped and brought as slaves from West Africa’s rice-growing regions, but their culture was stayed strong when slavery and the rice trade ended -- and the area was well off the major highway and communication grids. Even today, many residents still speak the Gullah language, a melodious Creole of English and African languages similar to the Krio language spoken in Sierra Leone. Cultural practices such as the musical style of Ring Shouting, the telling of African-style folk tales, and the arts of basket-making, carving and quilting, also continue. In 2006, Congress established the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor to honor the region’s distinctive culture. Gullah Geechee have also declared nation-within-a-nation status similar to that of Native American tribes, and are nationally and internationally active in promoting the preservation of their culture and of the local environment.
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