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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 the relative isolation of the low country area helped them to keep their native culture strong during and after slavery.  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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