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The Gullah Language - Culture - Nairaland

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The Gullah Language by pashaun(f): 4:57am On Jan 07, 2016
Gullah is an English-based, creolized language that naturally evolved from the unique circumstances of, and was spoken by, the slaves in South Carolina and Georgia. It is not written language. It is sometimes referred to as the patios of the Lowcountry. Along with many of the African and English words and expressions, it also contains some other foreign languages or whatever could be picked up, depending on the nationality of the slave owner. The word Gullah is believed to be a mispronunciation of the African word Gora or Gola, which were names of tribes living in Sierra Leone, West Africa. The Via people, or Gala, or Gallinas are believed to be the African connection for the Gullah people in the Sea Islands.





https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuiKY2A-UVI
Re: The Gullah Language by Fulaman198(m): 6:34am On Jan 07, 2016
I found it interesting that "nyam" means eat. In the Fulani language of "Fulfulde/Pulaar" nyamugol means to eat.

1 Like

Re: The Gullah Language by Phut(f): 6:44am On Jan 07, 2016
pashaun:



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuiKY2A-UVI


@ Pashaun: Una is from the Igbo language (formerly known as Ibo or Eboe) and means, You.

Do you guys (I am assuming you are Gullah) eat Okro which is the Igbo name for Lady Fingers?

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Re: The Gullah Language by MetaPhysical: 8:52am On Jan 07, 2016
Fulaman198:
I found it interesting that "nyam" means eat. In the Fulani language of "Fulfulde/Pulaar" nyamugol means to eat.

Fulaman,
Is it possible that Gullah may have been an adulteration of Fullah?

Im going to share an experience. I once went on a visit to the South of USA and one of my stops was in Savannah, GA. Savannah is in what they called Gullah country. It stretched to Sapelo Island (which probably is adulteration of Sapele) and the coastal waters of South Carolina. The land and the people are called Gullah and their pidgin english is called Gechee.

This was shortly after I had undergone a study in Ajami literature, at a basic level. The study was necessitated by a project in Timbuktu to collect and collate Ajami scripts from all over West Africa for archiving. A Professor at LASU facilitated the Yoruba scripts...but long story short my access into the database led to the study.

In Savannah there was a Church called First African Episcopal or Baptist....i forgot, anyway, it was a tour stop. The basement served as slave holding quarters back in the days. It was modernized when i visited and there were still scribbles on the preserved wooden benches and pews used by Black slaves back then in their indoctrination using Christianity to legitimize their bondage. I went row by row trying to see if I could find Yoruba words scribbled into the wood, none. I found a scribble in Arabic letters with the word "majalis". There were many more in Arabic scripts but had no diacritics to give vowel sounds. Like I said I was a beginner in learning to read and write Ajami. If it did not have the marks I could not tell what it was. Lol. This one i interpreted had the vowel marks.

The rest of the tourists were astonished that i found something and wanted to know. I told them it meant "council". They wanted to know how a council will hold back in Africa. After I explained someone said "oohh, a congregation". It clicked! The slave that scribbled the writing had no idea about Church congregation or service....to him or her, this was a council gathering...a majalis! This slave had not yet gained knowlddge to link a gathering of that manner in connection with God worship.

After we got back in the tour bus the driver played a recording of a Gechee conversation. Its like Warri pidgin.
Re: The Gullah Language by Fulaman198(m): 9:10am On Jan 07, 2016
MetaPhysical:


Fulaman,
Is it possible that Gullah may have been an adulteration of Fullah?

Im going to share an experience. I once went on a visit to the South of USA and one of my stops was in Savannah, GA. Savannah is in what they called Gullah country. It stretched to Sapelo Island (which probably is adulteration of Sapele) and the coastal waters of South Carolina. The land and the people are called Gullah and their pidgin english is called Gechee.

This was shortly after I had undergone a study in Ajami literature, at a basic level. The study was necessitated by a project in Timbuktu to collect and collate Ajami scripts from all over West Africa for archiving. A Professor at LASU facilitated the Yoruba scripts...but long story short my access into the database led to the study.

In Savannah there was a Church called First African Episcopal or Baptist....i forgot, anyway, it was a tour stop. The basement served as slave holding quarters back in the days. It was modernized when i visited and there were still scribbles on the preserved wooden benches and pews used by Black slaves back then in their indoctrination using Christianity to legitimize their bondage. I went row by row trying to see if I could find Yoruba words scribbled into the wood, none. I found a scribble in Arabic letters with the word "majalis". There were many more in Arabic scripts but had no diacritics to give vowel sounds. Like I said I was a beginner in learning to read and write Ajami. If it did not have the marks I could not tell what it was. Lol. This one i interpreted had the vowel marks.

The rest of the tourists were astonished that i found something and wanted to know. I told them it meant "council". They wanted to know how a council will hold back in Africa. After I explained someone said "oohh, a congregation". It clicked! The slave that scribbled the writing had no idea about Church congregation or service....to him or her, this was a council gathering...a majalis! This slave had not yet gained knowlddge to link a gathering of that manner in connection with God worship.

After we got back in the tour bus the driver played a recording of a Gechee conversation. Its like Warri pidgin.


Interesting synopsis, I will have to conduct more research on this Gullah language to see if it has other striking similarities to the Fulani language.
Re: The Gullah Language by MetaPhysical: 1:33pm On Jan 07, 2016
Fulaman198:


Interesting synopsis, I will have to conduct more research on this Gullah language to see if it has other striking similarities to the Fulani language.

Look in the archives of the Library of Congress or Smithsonian Institute. You will find dated taped conversations or songs or folktales and stuffs like that.
Re: The Gullah Language by itstpia8: 3:23pm On Jan 07, 2016
Fulaman198:
I found it interesting that "nyam" means eat. In the Fulani language of "Fulfulde/Pulaar" nyamugol means to eat.


Perhaps they are Fulani.
Re: The Gullah Language by itstpia8: 3:24pm On Jan 07, 2016
Phut:


@ Pashaun: Una is from the Igbo language (formerly known as Ibo or Eboe) and means, You.

Do you guys (I am assuming you are Gullah) eat Okro which is the Igbo name for Lady Fingers?


perhaps they are Igbo.
Re: The Gullah Language by Fulaman198(m): 6:22pm On Jan 07, 2016
itstpia8:



Perhaps they are Fulani.

Possibly
Re: The Gullah Language by pashaun(f): 9:20pm On Jan 07, 2016
Phut:


@ Pashaun: Una is from the Igbo language (formerly known as Ibo or Eboe) and means, You.

Do you guys (I am assuming you are Gullah) eat Okro which is the Igbo name for Lady Fingers?

Yes, we eat Okra.

itstpia8:

perhaps they are Igbo.

Fulaman198:
I found it interesting that "nyam" means eat. In the Fulani language of "Fulfulde/Pulaar" nyamugol means to eat.

MetaPhysical:

Look in the archives of the Library of Congress or Smithsonian Institute. You will find dated taped conversations or songs or folktales and stuffs like that.


Gullah is a mixture of African languages such as Ewe, Fante, Efik, Ibebio, Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, Twi, Kono, and Mandinka
Re: The Gullah Language by bigfrancis21(m): 2:23pm On Jan 08, 2016
MetaPhysical:


Fulaman,
Is it possible that Gullah may have been an adulteration of Fullah?

Im going to share an experience. I once went on a visit to the South of USA and one of my stops was in Savannah, GA. Savannah is in what they called Gullah country. It stretched to Sapelo Island (which probably is adulteration of Sapele) and the coastal waters of South Carolina. The land and the people are called Gullah and their pidgin english is called Gechee.

This was shortly after I had undergone a study in Ajami literature, at a basic level. The study was necessitated by a project in Timbuktu to collect and collate Ajami scripts from all over West Africa for archiving. A Professor at LASU facilitated the Yoruba scripts...but long story short my access into the database led to the study.

In Savannah there was a Church called First African Episcopal or Baptist....i forgot, anyway, it was a tour stop. The basement served as slave holding quarters back in the days. It was modernized when i visited and there were still scribbles on the preserved wooden benches and pews used by Black slaves back then in their indoctrination using Christianity to legitimize their bondage. I went row by row trying to see if I could find Yoruba words scribbled into the wood, none. I found a scribble in Arabic letters with the word "majalis". There were many more in Arabic scripts but had no diacritics to give vowel sounds. Like I said I was a beginner in learning to read and write Ajami. If it did not have the marks I could not tell what it was. Lol. This one i interpreted had the vowel marks.

The rest of the tourists were astonished that i found something and wanted to know. I told them it meant "council". They wanted to know how a council will hold back in Africa. After I explained someone said "oohh, a congregation". It clicked! The slave that scribbled the writing had no idea about Church congregation or service....to him or her, this was a council gathering...a majalis! This slave had not yet gained knowlddge to link a gathering of that manner in connection with God worship.

After we got back in the tour bus the driver played a recording of a Gechee conversation. Its like Warri pidgin.


Some say 'gullah' is a corruption of 'Angola', in reference to slaves that were imported from the Angola region of central Africa.
Re: The Gullah Language by bigfrancis21(m): 2:30pm On Jan 08, 2016
Phut:


@ Pashaun: Una is from the Igbo language (formerly known as Ibo or Eboe) and means, You.

Do you guys (I am assuming you are Gullah) eat Okro which is the Igbo name for Lady Fingers?

Yea, both are from Igbo language. Okro is from 'Okwuru' in Igbo and 'una' fron 'unu' in Igbo for you (plural). 'una' can be safely said to be the most widely spread Igbo African word amongst all afro-descended peoples outside Africa. 'una' and all of its derivative forms such as 'wuna', 'unnu' etc. can be found in nearly all English-based patois spoken by afro-descended peoples in the Caribbean (Jamaica, Belize, Trinidad, Tobago etc.), United States (Geeche), West Africa (Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon etc).

1 Like

Re: The Gullah Language by Fulaman198(m): 6:29pm On Jan 08, 2016
pashaun:


Yes, we eat Okra.








Gullah is a mixture of African languages such as Ewe, Fante, Efik, Ibebio, Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, Twi, Kono, and Mandinka

I'm not too sure if Hausa is a part of it, Fulfulde definitely is as it's a far different language from Hausa.
Re: The Gullah Language by MetaPhysical: 5:35am On Jan 09, 2016
pashaun:


Yes, we eat Okra.


Gullah is a mixture of African languages such as Ewe, Fante, Efik, Ibebio, Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, Twi, Kono, and Mandinka

Please share more on the history and the culture.
Re: The Gullah Language by MetaPhysical: 5:39am On Jan 09, 2016
bigfrancis21:


Some say 'gullah' is a corruption of 'Angola', in reference to slaves that were imported from the Angola region of central Africa.

I dont know what it is, I was only speculating by saying "could it be..."

Angola is tenable also but Im not sure Angolans were shipped to that part of America.
Re: The Gullah Language by bigfrancis21(m): 3:14am On Jan 10, 2016
MetaPhysical:


I dont know what it is, I was only speculating by saying "could it be..."

Angola is tenable also but Im not sure Angolans were shipped to that part of America.

I take that back. Actually, I meant that the Gullah people are from the Gola tribe of Liberia. Below is a book by a white missionary describing the respective african slaves and their areas of origin.

He mentions specifically that the Gullah people are from the Gola people located above St. Paul's River. St. Paul's river is still found in Liberia till today and the Gola people live just above and around the river.


Gola in Liberia

https://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/11920/LI

Also notice his interesting description of the Igbos in the snapshot.

Re: The Gullah Language by Fulaman198(m): 5:59am On Jan 10, 2016
bigfrancis21:


I take that back. Actually, I meant that the Gullah people are from the Gola tribe of Liberia. Below is a book by a white missionary describing the respective african slaves and their areas of origin.

He mentions specifically that the Gullah people are from the Gola people located above St. Paul's River. St. Paul's river is still found in Liberia till today and the Gola people live just above and around the river.


Gola in Liberia

https://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/11920/LI

Also notice his interesting description of the Igbos in the snapshot.

Some very messed up language, calling us blacks the N-word
Re: The Gullah Language by bigfrancis21(m): 5:53am On Jan 11, 2016
[quote author=Fulaman198 post=41832147]

Some very messed up language, calling us blacks the N-word[/quote

Honestly, I don't even get the least offended if called the N-word. For what its worth, I am not a nigger in any form. Then I see African Americans calling themselves that word and I get appalled. Like they've forgotten the origin of that word and how demeaning it is in context. I also don't understand the logic behind getting mad when whites call you nigger but yet you call your own self nigger and your fellow males niggers. Like only blacks have the exclusivity to use that word. It is damn $tupid.

When you get offended by someone all the time by what they say, then that person has power over you and they control you. It is psychology.

1 Like

Re: The Gullah Language by Fulaman198(m): 9:12am On Jan 11, 2016
[quote author=bigfrancis21 post=41861606][/quote]

You're right my brother
Re: The Gullah Language by pashaun(f): 2:36am On Jan 25, 2016
Fulaman198:


I'm not too sure if Hausa is a part of it, Fulfulde definitely is as it's a far different language from Hausa.

bigfrancis21:

I take that back. Actually, I meant that the Gullah people are from the Gola tribe of Liberia. Below is a book by a white missionary describing the respective african slaves and their areas of origin.
He mentions specifically that the Gullah people are from the Gola people located above St. Paul's River. St. Paul's river is still found in Liberia till today and the Gola people live just above and around the river.

Gola in Liberia
https://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/11920/LI
Also notice his interesting description of the Igbos in the snapshot.

The term Gullah comes from Angola
Re: The Gullah Language by pashaun(f): 2:37am On Jan 25, 2016
MetaPhysical:


I dont know what it is, I was only speculating by saying "could it be..."

Angola is tenable also but Im not sure Angolans were shipped to that part of America.

Yes, Angolans were shipped to the south.
Re: The Gullah Language by bigfrancis21(m): 5:13pm On Jan 25, 2016
pashaun:




The term Gullah comes from Angola

No. Gullah may sound like 'angola' but for the Gullah people of US, it actually comes from the Gola people of Liberia.
Re: The Gullah Language by GeecheeD: 2:46am On Feb 19
Hausa are apart of who we are. There are more groups that were not named that helped to create us. Many words that are not in the creole was hidden. The gullah/Geechee had to also communicate with slavers. They hid a number of African word in names. Some people of the past were named after the days of the weeks, others named various tribal words that were not birth names. Soon those words became lost when people moved out across America and assimilated into the larger African American community. My family moved to new jersey and were treated differently by even the larger African American groups. Ecentually they assimilated to fit in and alot was lost.They took more common names.

Here are some Hausa words used as names amongst the Gullah of the past. (M)=male (f)= female.

A'damu (m)=adam, A'lanke (m)=a board used by leather workers, A'lura (f)=needle, 'Bano (m)= an eel, 'Banke (m)= to collide with and knock over, 'bari (m)= to leave off, it's also efik and susu with different meanings, 'beke (f), fa'lasa(f), 'kunci (f)= side of face, cheek.


These and many others were used as personal names and not in speech. There are a lot more. From lots of tribes not mentioned in this thread.

Fulaman198:


I'm not too sure if Hausa is a part of it, Fulfulde definitely is as it's a far different language from Hausa.

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