Posts Tagged ‘Queen Quet’

Gullah/Geechee Save the Sea Islands Tour Gwine on wid de Chillun

July 10, 2018
QQ Teachin de Chillun 2

 

Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) has been on her annual world tour since the beginning of the year.  Given that the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition (www.GullahGeechee.net) which she founded is now 20 years old, she returned to the theme that launched her into taking the Gullah/Geechee story internationally and themed the tour, “Gullah/Geechee Save the Sea Islands.”   Queen Quet has been to all fifty states of the United States and is now seeking to speak to people in every county in South Carolina.  She has already spoken in more than half of them over her nearly 40 year career leading the charge to authentically present the Gullah/Geechee language, history, and cultural traditions.

Queen Quet’s focus as she travels her home state is primarily “fa crak mi teet wid de chillun.”   Queen Quet annually speaks in Walterboro, SC at their summer reading program and she successfully did this last month at the Colleton County Memorial Library.  Throughout the year she does programs via the “Gullah/Geechee Living History Series” that the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition presents in partnership with the St. Helena Branch Library.  She took the living history to the children of the Metanoia Freedom School in North Charleston on Juneteenth.  Next she heads to Greenwood, SC for “Let’s Read.”  This project will donate 400 books to youths as part of Greenwood Diversity Committee’s “Let’s Talk About Race” series.  Duke Energy is sponsoring author Queen Quet to come in and not only do a book signing, but to also provide histo-musical presentations on Saturday, July 14th.  A morning session will be held from 10 to 11:30 at Weston Chapel AME Church with the afternoon session from 1:30 to 3 at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church.

At all of the events, Queen Quet encourages literacy.  She is an avid reader and a published author.  She just released the sixth volume of her thirty volume series on the history of Gullah/Geechees.  She will autograph copies at each event where she presents including during the “Gullah/Geechee Nation International Music & Movement Festival™ 2018” (www.GullahGeechee.info) which will take place in Charleston, SC August 3-5, 2018.  That festival will conclude with Queen Quet sharing the afternoon with youths at the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry from 2-5 pm during a massive drumming circle.

In the fall, numerous youths return to schools and they will come on De Gullah Root Experience Transformational Learning Tours of historic St. Helena Island, SC which Queen Quet is a native of.  Queen Quet has already hosted over a 200 youths on the tour this year including Girl Scouts.  She is also working on engaging Gullah/Geechee youths in the “EarthEcho Water Challenge” via her work as a member of the Gullah/Geechee Fishing Association (www.GullahGeecheeFishing.net).  They will host a “Gullah/Geechee Famlee Day” in October at Hunting Island Nature Center as part of the “Gullah/Geechee Seafood Festival” which will take place there on Saturday, October 27, 2018.  The families will engage in interactive events at the coastline which are based in Gullah/Geechee traditions.  Queen Quet started the “Gullah/Geechee Famlee Day” as a means of having people participate in the “Gullah/Geechee SEA and ME” program that she created.

Queen Quet believes in continuing the intergenerational learning that is a traditional practice of her native Gullah/Geechee culture.  So, we gwine on wid de chillun and gwine lun um who webe!

Webe Gullah/Geechee Anointed Peepol!

Lun mo bout who webe

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Gullah/Geechee Gold Rice Festival on Historic St. Helena Island, SC

March 21, 2018
Gullah/Geechee Gold Rice Festival 
on Historic St. Helena Island, SC
St. Helena Island, SC is the home to a thriving Gullah/Geechee community.  It is one of the largest contiguous Gullah/Geechee communities in the Gullah/Geechee Nation from Jacksonville, NC to Jacksonville, FL.  Many of the families on St. Helena Island can recount stories of rice fields that were planted and harvested by their elders and their ancestors.  Last year, Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) who is a native of St. Helena Island was presented with rice seeds by the Carolina Gold Rice Foundation and Dr. Francis Morean.  She was able to grow rice where her grandfather last grew it decades ago on the island.
Queen Quet is returning to Trinidad and Tobago in March on the “Save the Sea Islands World Tour” in order to provide a keynote address at the “TnT International Hill Rice Symposium” where she delivered a keynote in 2016.   From there, she will return to her home island to host the “Gullah/Geechee Gold Rice Festival” in conjunction with the St. Helena Island Community Market on Saturday, April 7, 2018 from 10 am to 3 pm at the Dr. Martin Luther King Memorial Park at the intersection of Highway 21/Sea Island Parkway and Dr. Martin Luther King Drive on St. Helena Island, SC in the Gullah/Geechee Nation.  This event that is being sponsored by the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island CoalitionSt. Helena Island Community Market, and All Mobile Productions™ (AMP™) is FREE and open to the public, but they do request that attendees obtain passes on EventBrite at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gullahgeechee-gold-rice-festival-tickets-33639130545.
Gullah/Geechee Gold Rice Festival 2018
The “Gullah/Geechee Gold Rice Festival” will celebrate the history of rice amongst the Gullah/Geechee.  Traditional Gullah/Geechee rice dishes will be on sale along with other Gullah/Geechee crafts, books, CDs, and DVDs.  There will be music provided by All Mobile Productions™ (AMP™) at this festival celebrating cultural heritage and the historic legacy of the Gullah/Geechee.  Bring de famlee and jayn we!  Cum nyam pun wha we nyam pun mongst de Gullah/Geechee.

Queen Quet of the Gullah/Geechee featured by the Audubon

March 17, 2018

Queen Quet at Beidler Forest on Maroon Cultural Day

Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) is an alumni of Toyota TogetherGreen with Audubon.  She participated in the second annual Maroon Cultural Day at Beilder Forest along with members of the Gullah/Geechee Fishing Association.   During the celebration, she was asked to discuss her work with Gullah/Geechee SEA & ME which is an environmental engagement and sustainability program that she continues to lead at the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition and which is supported by the Gullah/Geechee Sustainability Think Tank.  Tune een fa yeddi bout disya:

 

Read the entire featured article from that day here:

http://www.audubon.org/news/at-francis-beidler-forest-stories-escaped-slaves-mingle-nature

 

Queen Quet featured on USCB’s Beaufort Blast

March 15, 2018

 

Queen Quet on USCB's Beaufort Blast

Tune in to USCB‘s Beaufort Blast featuring an interview with Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com):

 

www.GullahGeecheeNation.com

Gullah/Geechee, Hoppin’ John, and Greens and What This Means

January 1, 2018

Hoppin John Greens & Cabbage

Hunnuh chillun ain pose ta gwine een ta de Nyew Year widout de Hoppin John and de greens!   At Watch Night you hear conversations about whether or not certain people have their peas and rice or Hoppin’ John already cooked.  Most times, those making inquiries are not the best cooks themselves, so they are plotting on coming by after day break on New Year’s/Emancipation Day to get a spoonful or so from that elders’ pot.  Yes, the elders are the best source for the greatest pots of Hoppin’ John!

Fortunately, this tradition that began on the South Carolina Sea Islands and Lowcountry amongst the Gullah/Geechee has continued even up to today.   Several sources have looked into the origins of how this all began and why.  They credit the South Carolina Lowcountry of the Gullah/Geechee Nation as the origin point repeatedly.   They recognize the fact that the peas that are used-field peas, cow peas, and black eyed peas came from the Motherland and therefore, the children of Mama Africa continued to nurture their families with these seeds that became staples in the diets of many southerners.   Peas and rice are easy to keep stored for long periods of time.  This was critical during the 1600s, 1700s, and 1800s, and is again becoming critical due to the intensity of storms and other land changes causes by climate change impacts.

Just as Gullah/Geechee farmers adapt and diversity the crops that they plant, the Hoppin’ John has been adapted and the types of greens that accompany them have been also.  Many vegan and vegetarian Gullah/Geechees make their own pots for this traditional meal because they have to avoid the fatback or other pieces of pork that many still add to these dishes.   So, the tradition has taken on a healthier version of the first meal to consume on the first day of the year.  Folks are even getting back to making the cornbread to soak up “de licka and ting wid” from scratch to avoid the lard and other things in some of the commercial cornbread mixes.   So, hunnuh chillun da gwine bak old landmark an ain be fuss kno!  De ancestas da beat e drum fa sho!

Any of our ancestors named “John” have to be shoutin each year at this time since their name is called so much.  As the story goes, there was a man-no doubt a Gullah/Geechee man-from Charleston, SC that used to sell peas and sell rice that the traditional dish is names after.  There is also a story that says that the “hoppin'” has to do wid de chillun jumpin or hoppin around the table fa e plate.  Some even have told me that the man John hopped around as he served the dish!  As we often say, “GOD only knows” how that name got attached to what many native Gullah/Geechees simply call “peas and rice” and folks in the Caribbean call “rice and peas.”

The entire dish is eaten on the first day of the year as a blessing of prosperity for the home and for the people sharing the meal.  The peas are the element that is multiplied easily and are representative of the coins that were desired by our ancestors in abundance for various reasons-to buy freedom, to buy land, to take care of their families, and for general advancement.  (This has not changed, but some folks now only want dollars and do not realize that stacks of coins make dollars!  SMH.)   The greens represent the “greenbacks” or dollars.  So, in all cases, the dish represents financial blessings.  The golden cornbread that goes with it represents that riches our our Black gold people and the golden future we are seeking with each new year as far as I am concerned.

Gullah/Geechee Hill Rice Hoppin John

This year, my Hoppin’ John relinks the diaspora since I have my peas that I was blessed to grow on my Gullah/Geechee family compound embedded in the hill rice that was given to me by my Merikin Family from Trinidad.   The cornbread was made by mama from scratch like she used to make back in the day.   (This is what the stuffing was made out of for Christmas.)  The cabbage and the greens were blended together from the field to top off the richness.  So, as I sit down wearing my cowry shells poised to enjoy this annual feast which I will follow with a teaspoon of honey to insure the sweetness of the year (I learned this from my Mississippi Gullah/Geechee folks.), I give thanks for the manifestations of the seeds of prosperity that my ancestors planted in the soil of the Gullah/Geechee Nation and for those continuing to hold on to this tradition of seeking prosperity on Emancipation/New Year’s Day.  Disya trulee da de #GullahGeechee way!  Tenk GAWD e still gwine on and gwine stay!

by Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com)