Explore the Constellation
McIntosh County Shouters
Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
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.