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McIntosh County Shouters

Music

A group of McIntosh County Shouters pose together in costume in front of a wood panel structure.

The Gullah/Geechee culture originates from the cultural practices of enslaved African people in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida. They infused their memories of western African cultural traditions into the landscape of the nation through music, dance, language, foodways, and faith practices, still observed today. One such tradition is the ring shout, which features call and response singing, the pounding rhythm of a cane, stomping feet, hand claps, and dancing in a counterclockwise circle. Historian Lorenzo Dow Turner recognized the diasporic connections of the spiritual practice, noting that the Gullah ring shout tradition stems from Islamic practice seen among the Mende people in western Africa.