“Fa We Ancestas” is the theme of the 2017 “Gullah/Geechee Nation International Music & Movement Festival™.” This festival began on historic St. Helena Island, SC in the Gullah/Geechee Nation in 2005 and has since traveled to numerous cities of the Gullah/Geechee Nation as well as to the Bahamas. This year’s return to St. Helena Island will be a celebration of the rich living culture of the island and Beaufort County.
The three day celebration August 4-6, 2017 will educate the supporters through a series of cultural heritage activities beginning with “De Gullah Root Experience Tour” led by Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com).
This tour will encompass St. Helena Island and the City of Beaufort. The journey will begin at the landmark historic St. Helena Branch Library where featured artist for the year, Sonja Griffin Evans’ “American Gullah” will be exhibited. Those that participate in the “Gullah/Geechee Nation Appreciation Week” activities from July 29th to the end of the festival will not only get to view this exhibition, but they will have an opportunity to dialogue with the artist on Saturday, August 5, 2017 as part of the “Gullah/Geechee Reunion Day” at the festival.
Sonja Griffin Evans’ “American Gullah” Collection reflects compassion and redeeming love. It gives a visual example of one’s humanity. It immortalizes the divinity, an expression of the soul. It brings to life, through art, the Gullah/Geechee story; while instilling in the viewer’s heart a yearning to visit the amazingly beautiful, historical and spiritual destinations which encompasses the Gullah/Geechee culture. So, that is why the festival will begin with the visitors partaking this collection before proceeding out to the lands where the culture continues to thrive.
The Gullah/Geechee Nation has been fully participating in the United Nations’ International Decade of People of African Descent and to that end, the leaders of the Gullah/Geechee Nation are inviting the entire African Diaspora to come together and bring drums and tambourines to the festival. In order to honor those that held on to their traditions that have evolved into the Gullah/Geechee culture, an ancestral ceremony will be held at the Atlantic Ocean on Hunting Island, SC to conclude the entire weekend on Sunday, August 6, 2017.