History & Heritage in Beaufort County
African American culture in Beaufort County, South Carolina is synonymous with Gullah culture. This fascinating Gullah culture evolved with the arrival of slaves to the South Carolina coastal islands. Forced to survive under difficult circumstances in an unfamiliar environment, slaves used the knowledge and language they brought with them from Africa. African dialect and customs were merged with European dialect and customs to form Gullah - a hybrid of the two.
Some slaves were brought here from a part of Africa known as Angola, also resulting in them being known as Gullahs. All along the South Carolina coast, slaves and their descendents became known as Gullahs. The Gullah culture reflects the people, their language and their customs-everything from food gathering and preparation and beliefs in herbal medicines to basket weaving and worshiping. Although not widely spoken, the dialect can still be heard among elders in various coastal communities or in stories shared among families.
Beaufort County African American Heritage Time Line