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Explore Georgia’s rich music history

From blues and soul to classical and country—our Spotify playlists feature 130+ songs written and performed by Georgians.

John A. Burrison

John A. Burrison

A folklorist and professor of English at Georgia State University in Atlanta, John A. Burrison has helped shape an entire academic field of specialty, that of folk pottery. He holds a couple of face "jugs."

Courtesy of John Burrison. Photograph by Carolyn Richardson

Lanier Meaders and John Burrison

Lanier Meaders and John Burrison

Mossy Creek potter Lanier Meaders (left) with folklorist John A. Burrison in 1970. The painted vases on the kiln were made by Lanier's mother, Arie Meaders. The Meaders family is one of the best-known traditional potter families in northeast Georgia.

Courtesy of John Burrison. Photograph by Dick Pillsbury

Sapelo Island Cultural Day

Sapelo Island Cultural Day

Singers perform during the Sapelo Island Cultural Day, held each October on the island. The festival celebrates the songs, stories, dances, and food of the Geechee and Gullah culture, which developed on the Sea Islands among enslaved West Africans between 1750 and 1865.

Photograph by Jennifer Cruse Sanders

Hulling Rice

Hulling Rice

In the same manner as their enslaved ancestors, women on Sapelo Island hull rice with a mortar and pestle, circa 1925. Language and cultural traditions from West Africa were retained in the Geechee culture that developed in the Sea Islands.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia, #
sap093.

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Africanisms in the Gullah Dialect

Africanisms in the Gullah Dialect

Africanisms in the Gullah Dialect, first published by linguist Lorenzo Dow Turner in 1949, establishes links between ethnic groups in West Africa and the Geechee and Gullah population of the Georgia Sea Islands.

Fanner Basket

Fanner Basket

Fanner baskets, used for winnowing rice, were introduced to Georgia rice plantations by enslaved West Africans. Today such baskets are made primarily for sale to tourists as decorative art.

Photograph by Althea Sumpter

Praise House

Praise House

Praise houses were built on plantations by enslaved people for worship services. These services often included the ring shout, in which rhythmic hand clapping and counterclockwise dancing were performed to spirituals.

Image from Richard N Horne

Jabati and Moran

Jabati and Moran

Baindu Jabati (left) and Mary Moran were the only two women to remember a Mende funeral song performed as part of the village tradition in Senehun Ngola, Sierra Leone. The song was passed down through Moran's family in Georgia from her enslaved ancestors, who were related to Jabati's ancestors in Sierra Leone.

Photograph by Sharon Maybarduk

Sea Islands

Sea Islands

The Georgia Sea Islands are the site of the unique Geechee and Gullah culture, which retains ethnic traditions from West Africa brought to America during the years of the Atlantic slave trade. Although elements of the culture persist, its survival is threatened by development on the islands.

Photograph by WIDTTF 

Georgia Sea Island Singers

Georgia Sea Island Singers

Tony Merrell drums during a performance of the Georgia Sea Island Singers, as fellow member Frankie Sullivan Quimby looks on. The singers maintain a tradition, begun around 1900, of sharing the Gullah culture through performances and educational programs.

Courtesy of Georgia Sea Island Singers

Sea Island Singers with President

Sea Island Singers with President

The Sea Island Singers pose with U.S. president George W. Bush and the First Lady at Sea Island during the G8 Summit in 2004. From left, Doug Quimby, Frankie Quimby, George Bush, Laura Bush, and Tony Merrell.

Photograph by White House Staff Photographer

Frankie Sullivan Quimby

Frankie Sullivan Quimby

Frankie Sullivan Quimby of the Georgia Sea Island Singers performs at the Dogwood Festival in Atlanta. The Sea Island Singers preserve Gullah culture by sharing the songs, games, and customs of their African American ancestors with people all over the world.

Kitchen Garden

Kitchen Garden

Members of a family pose on the porch of their farmhouse in Carroll County, ca. 1870-99. Kitchen gardens, such as the one in the foreground, were traditionally tended by women.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia, #
car156.

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Farmhouse

Farmhouse

This Spalding County home displays common elements of the southern farmhouse, including the porch and the garden of colorful flowers close to the house.

Mill House Yard

Mill House Yard

A Dalton family poses in front of its mill house in the Chattanooga Avenue area in 1919. Textile mills in Dalton held contests to determine the most attractive yards of the mill homes, and this yard was one of the winners.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia, #
wtf261.

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Birdbath

Birdbath

This birdbath exemplifies the colorful displays of found objects that are characteristic of African American vernacular gardens.

King Mill

King Mill

Mill villages were a prevalent form of vernacular architecture in Georgia during the industrial era. King Mill appears in the background of this view of Augusta, ca. 1912 to 1915.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia, #
ric197.

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Greene County Cabin

Greene County Cabin

The owners of this cabin appear in front of their home in Union Point, Greene County, ca. 1900. The timber for such cabins was usually cut and hewn on the building site.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia, #
grn145.

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Mill House

Mill House

A family poses in front of its mill house, located in the Chattanooga Avenue area of Dalton, in 1919 after winning a contest sponsored by a textile mill for the most attractive yard.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia, #wtf260.

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Roadside Market

Roadside Market

This market in Robertstown (northeast Georgia) sells cider, fried peanuts, and other wares to travelers. Such markets, along with gas stations and motor courts, demonstrate the shift in vernacular architecture that occurred in response to the automobile culture.

Folk Crafts, Net Maker

Folk Crafts, Net Maker

On Georgia's coast, the net-making tradition has been passed down generation to generation.

Folk Crafts, Net Maker

Folk Crafts, Net Maker

A close-up view of the tool used in net making.

The Sacred Harp

The Sacred Harp

First published in 1844, The Sacred Harp songbook has helped to promote the style of singing known as "Sacred Harp," "shape-note," or "fasola" singing.

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

Foxfire Community Celebration

Foxfire Community Celebration

Foxfire's community celebration is held each spring at the Foxfire Museum in Rabun County to honor the local residents who have shared their stories and skills with Foxfire students.

Brer Rabbit

Brer Rabbit

A statue of Brer Rabbit, a major character in the Uncle Remus tales by Joel Chandler Harris, stands in front of the Putnam County Courthouse. Harris's work, particularly his animal tales, brought African American folklore into the public spotlight.

Image from Mdxi

Lanier Meaders

Lanier Meaders

Lanier Meaders, a Georgia folk potter known for his face jugs, throws a clay vessel. In 1967 Meaders took over his family's celebrated pottery shop, Meaders Pottery, which was established in 1893 in the Mossy Creek area of White County. He received the National Heritage Fellowship award from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1983.

Storytelling Traditions

Storytelling Traditions

Myths are defined as sacred stories supporting a religion; they often explain the present order of things as the creation of divinities. In Georgia, oral myths are found primarily among Native Americans.

Okra

Okra

Okra, originally an African plant, probably arrived in the South by way of slave ships. Okra is now a favorite summer vegetable in Georgia.

Hmong Story Cloth

Hmong Story Cloth

A story cloth by textile artist and Hmong refugee May Tong Moua depicts Hmong villagers fleeing Communist forces (upper right-hand corner) in Laos and crossing the Mekong River to arrive at a refugee camp in Thailand. A resident of Lilburn, May Tong Moua is among a number of Hmong refugees who resettled in DeKalb and Gwinnett counties. The story cloth, made in 1991, is housed at the Atlanta History Center.

Courtesy of Atlanta History Center.

Busy Bee Quilting Club

Busy Bee Quilting Club

Georgia quilt makers, such as the Busy Bee Quilting Club in Dalton, continue to make quilts for the same reasons as earlier generations: to engage in a satisfying creative activity, to produce beautiful objects of lasting value for family and friends, and to make connections with other people.

Quilting Group, ca. 1900

Quilting Group, ca. 1900

A Chatham County quilt-making group, circa 1900, included (left to right) Avie Wheeler, Leona Wheeler, Sarah Wheeler, and Mary Jane Wheeler (seated). These women made the quilt that hangs in the background.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia, #
ctm216.

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Bible Quilt

Bible Quilt

Harriet Powers finished her Bible Quilt around 1886 in Athens. The third panel in the second row depicts the story of Jacob's dream, when "he lay on the ground." Enslaved African Americans identified with Jacob, for he was homeless, hunted, and weary of his journey.

Courtesy of National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution

Ladies Aid Society, 1904

Ladies Aid Society, 1904

Members of the Ladies Aid Society of Marietta at a First Baptist Church quilting in 1904.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia, #
cob819.

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Whig’s Defeat

Whig’s Defeat

This pieced and appliqued quilt, entitled "Whig's Defeat," was made in 1856 by Susan Lloyd, a resident of Rome.

Courtesy of John Burrison

Quilt Maker, ca. 1968

Quilt Maker, ca. 1968

An unidentified Waynesboro woman displays her handiwork at a show sponsored by the Economic Opportunity Agency, circa 1968.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia, #bur150.

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Harriet Powers

Harriet Powers

Only one image of Harriet Powers survives. The photograph, made about 1897, depicts her wearing a special apron with images of a moon, cross, and sun or shooting star. Celestial bodies such as these appear repeatedly in her quilts, indicating their importance to her.

Folk Pottery

Folk Pottery

Georgia potters picked up the European approach that uses a potter's wheel, kiln, and glazes in the early 1800s. Here a potter forms clay with his hands as the clay rotates on a potter's wheel.

Photograph by Fred Fussell

Kaolin Mine

Kaolin Mine

Kaolin is a term used to refer to white clayey rock that is predominantly composed of kaolin group (khandite) minerals. Georgia is by far the leading clay-producing state in America and is recognized as a world leader in the mining, production, processing, and application of kaolin products.

Courtesy of Paul A. Schroeder

Holcomb Pottery

Holcomb Pottery

The Holcomb Pottery in Gillsville, Georgia, circa 1935.

Courtesy of the Georgia Geologic Survey

Cheever Meaders, 1950

Cheever Meaders, 1950

In 1920 Cheever Meaders inherited the family pottery at Mossy Creek. As local demand for food-related wares declined, tourists and crafts enthusiasts became his main customers.

Photograph by Janet Boyle

Turning and Burning Festival

Turning and Burning Festival

The annual fall "Turning and Burning Festival" in Gillsville celebrates six generations of Hewell family folk potters.

Clete Meaders: Sensing the Character

Clete Meaders talks about the history of the Meaders family pottery business.

Video by Darby Carl Sanders and Josh Borger, New Georgia Encyclopedia

Lin Craven: Folk Pottery

Lin Craven makes a ring jug and discusses why she became a potter.

Video by Darby Carl Sanders, New Georgia Encyclopedia

Lin Craven: Making a Ring Jug

Folk potter Lin Craven demonstrates as she explains how to make a ring jug.

Video by Darby Carl Sanders, New Georgia Encyclopedia

Chenille Bedspreads

Chenille Bedspreads

Mrs. J. A. Green and her son, Allen Burton, make tufted bedspreads on U.S. Highway 41 in Bartow County, 1933. Green was one of the first in the county to make chenille bedspreads.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia, #brt122.

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Chenille Bedspread, Detail

Chenille Bedspread, Detail

This hand-tufted chenille bedspread, popularized during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, was displayed at the Prater's Mill Country Fair in Varnell. The peacock motif appeared on many of the spreads made during the 1930s.

Catherine Evans Whitener

Catherine Evans Whitener

Catherine Evans Whitener brought back the handcraft of tufting in the 1890s, which played an important role in the economic development of northwest Georgia as its popularity grew.

Courtesy of Shaw Industries, Inc.

Betty Ann Wylie: Paralanguage

Betty Ann Wylie explains that stories are told not only through words but also through "the paralanguage."

Video by Darby Carl Sanders, New Georgia Encyclopedia

Storytelling Traditions

Storytelling Traditions

Stories with animal characters that behave like humans, such as Brer Rabbit, and stories featuring the trickster human "John" are among the most popular African American story cycles.

B. J. Abraham: Character Voices

B. J. Abraham demonstrates how she assumes different characters by using different voices when she's telling a story.

Video by Darby Carl Sanders, New Georgia Encyclopdedia

B. J. Abraham: Storytelling and Technology

B. J. Abraham says she feels that storytelling is a "low-tech art in a high-tech world."

Video by Darby Carl Sanders, New Georgia Encyclopedia

Joel Chandler Harris

Joel Chandler Harris

Joel Chandler Harris took his work as a fiction writer seriously, and he honed his craft considerably in the course of publishing seven volumes of short stories (in addition to the Uncle Remus tales) and three more novels.

Windham

Windham

The shape-note system in The Sacred Harp uses a different shape to represent each of the four syllables in the musical scale: a triangle (fa), a circle (sol), a rectangle (la), and a diamond (mi).

The tune "Windham" as it appears in The Sacred Harp, 1911 edition. Image from Wikimedia.

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Singing from The Sacred Harp

Singing from The Sacred Harp

Gapped scales (having less than the usual seven notes) and unusual harmonies help account for this traditional music's characteristic sound. Also unique is the doubling of two parts, both men and women singing tenor and treble. Untrained voices prevail, so the singing sounds loud and exhilarating.

Courtesy of Georgia Council for the Arts, Georgia Traditional Arts Research Collection, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Libraries.

Singing Leader

Singing Leader

In a manner reminiscent of the singing schools, a leader chooses songs, which are called a "lesson," for the singers, who are called the "class." Leaders take turns standing in the center of the class, beating time in a traditional method appropriate to the song's time signature.

Singing from The Sacred Harp

Singing from The Sacred Harp

The sound of Sacred Harp may vary a bit from region to region, and white singers have different styles from African American singers. But regardless of location or race, Sacred Harp sounds unlike academic choral singing or gospel singing, in which melody dominates and harmony embellishes and supports it.

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

McIntosh County Shouters

McIntosh County Shouters

The McIntosh County Shouters, seen here performing at National Folk Festival, Wolf Trap Farm, Virginia, have helped preserve the southeastern ring shout, one of the oldest African American performance traditions in the country. 

Courtesy of Margo Rosenbaum

McIntosh County Shouters

McIntosh County Shouters

In a ring shout the songster will call out lines, which are answered by a group of singers in a call-and-response pattern.

McIntosh County Shouters

McIntosh County Shouters

The ring shout, still performed in a Black community in McIntosh County, Georgia, is probably the oldest surviving African American performance tradition in North America.

Hambidge Center Gallery

Hambidge Center Gallery

Exterior view of the Hambidge Center Gallery. The gallery is one way the center provides public accessibility.

Courtesy of Explore Georgia, Photograph by Ralph Daniel.

Mary and Jay Hambidge

Mary and Jay Hambidge

Mary Hambidge founded the Jay Hambidge Art Foundation in 1934, naming it after her late partner. The foundation, later the Hambidge Center, was incorporated ten years later as a nonprofit organization for educational and scientific purposes.

Courtesy of Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences

Hambidge Center Studio

Hambidge Center Studio

An artist at work in the Hambidge Center studio.

Courtesy of Explore Georgia, Photograph by Ralph Daniel.

Raku Pottery

Raku Pottery

Pottery made in the "U Do Raku" workshop, which is an annual event at the Hambidge Center. Raku describes the unique process of kiln-firing the hand-thrown pottery before removing it to "reduce" in a cooler environment.

Courtesy of Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences

Hambidge Center

Hambidge Center

Baker's Creek Mill at the Hambidge Center, where artists from around the world can apply to spend two weeks to two months in residency.

Courtesy of Explore Georgia, Photograph by Ralph Daniel.

Arthur Dilbert

Arthur Dilbert

The African American tradition of carving walking sticks with reptile and human figures is exemplified by the work of coastal Georgia artists like Arthur "Pete" Dilbert of Savannah. Photograph by Billy Howard

Edwin Meaders, Folk Potter

Edwin Meaders, Folk Potter

Folk art refers to that which is done by artists who learned their trade informally within a community. The learning process was often family-based rather than one of formal apprenticeship. Edwin Meaders of Cleveland, Georgia, comes from a family of folk potters.

Lace Making

Lace Making

Betty Kemp, a resident of Powder Springs, in Cobb County, demonstrates the craft of English lace making at the Atlanta History Center in 1994.

Photograph by John Burrison

Folk Pottery

Folk Pottery

While clay pots were once put to use domestically and commercially, most are now made to sell as artistic wares. This alkaline-glazed jug was made by the second generation of potters at Mossy Creek, Georgia.

Duck Decoy

Duck Decoy

Ernie Mills is one of the few working decoy makers who still use a hatchet to hand-chop each decoy. He moved to Perry, Georgia, in 1978, and is one of a small number in the U.S. still carrying on this folk craft.

Courtesy of Atlanta History Center.

Ernie Mills: Decoy Maker

Ernie Mills, who moved to Perry, Georgia, in 1978, is one of the few working decoy makers who still use a hatchet to hand-chop each decoy. Mills talks about decoy making.

Video by Darby Carl Sanders and Josh Borger, New Georgia Encyclopedia

Basket Weaving

Basket Weaving

Folk artists use wood, cane, grasses, and pine needles to form baskets, rugs, and other woven works.

Hmong Textile Artist

Hmong Textile Artist

Hmong textile artist May Yang Moua, pictured in 1991, displays her finished flower cloths. Hmong refugees from Laos settling in DeKalb and Gwinnett counties have brought their needlework traditions to Georgia.

Courtesy of Georgia Council for the Arts, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Libraries.

Blessing of the Fleet

Blessing of the Fleet

The ship the Morning Star receiving the Blessing of the Fleet, a centuries-old tradition orginally meant to bring a bountiful harvest, now takes place in Brunswick on Mother's Day as a procession of decorated ships.

Greek Festival Dancers

Greek Festival Dancers

Georgia's immigrants have brought with them a diversity of languages, religious practices, food and craft traditions, music, styles of dress and decoration, and ways of celebrating.

Courtesy of Special Collections & Archives, Georgia State University Library, Atlanta Journal-Constitution Photographic Archive.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

A band plays during Savannah's annual St. Patrick's Day parade. Irish Americans continue to flock to Savannah for this celebration.

Image from Jefferson Davis

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Ethnic Celebrations

Ethnic Celebrations

Many ethnic celebrations are calendar events, commemorating political holidays, religious holidays, or dates in the lives of such important figures as Mahatma Gandhi. Calendars followed by immigrant and ethnic groups include the Buddhist, Chinese, Eastern Orthodox, Hindu, Islamic, and Jewish calendars.

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo

Children in traditional Mexican attire celebrate Cinco de Mayo in 2008 at Plaza Fiesta, located along the Buford Highway in DeKalb County. Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican national holiday that is observed in the United States as a celebration of Latino history and culture.

Pan African Festival

Pan African Festival

Several thousand visitors from across the state converge for the final event of the festival. Known as a "Day in the Park," the event showcases African pride and accomplishment and is held in Macon's Central City Park on the last Saturday in April.

Greek Festival Dancers

Greek Festival Dancers

The Greek Festival is an "outreach" celebration, meaning noncommunity members can participate in festival events.

Courtesy of Special Collections & Archives, Georgia State University Library, Atlanta Journal-Constitution Photographic Archive.

Georgia Mountain Fair

Georgia Mountain Fair

Pig racing is a popular event at the Georgia Mountain Fair. Also popular: pork for lunch.

Crackers

Crackers

By the 1760s the English, both at home and in colonial America, were applying the term cracker to Scots-Irish settlers of the southern backcountry in southern Georgia and northern Florida.

From Harper's New Monthly

Crackers

Crackers

The epithet cracker has been applied in a derogatory way to rural, non-elite white southerners. Linguists now believe the original root to be the Gaelic craic, still used in Ireland (anglicized in spelling to crack) for "entertaining conversation."

Image from James Wells Champney

Crackers

Crackers

Folk etymology claims the term cracker originated from piney-woods Georgia and Florida pastoral yeomen's use of whips to drive cattle. The word then came to be associated with the cowboys of Georgia and Florida.

From Cracker Culture: Celtic Ways in the Old South, by Grady McWhiney

Okefenokee Swamp

Okefenokee Swamp

Traditional poled boats, suited to maneuvering in tight water, were used in the days of alligator hunting and frog gigging. The swamp is now a federal wildlife refuge.

Courtesy of Zach S. Henderson Library, Georgia Southern University, Delma E. Presley Collection of South Georgia History and Culture.

Okefenokee Swamp

Okefenokee Swamp

The Okefenokee Swamp covers more than 700 square miles of southeast Georgia and northwest Florida. American Indians named the swamp "land of the trembling earth."

Courtesy of Explore Georgia, Photograph by Ralph Daniel.

Okefenokee Swamp Folklore

Okefenokee Swamp Folklore

During the 1800s the Okefenokee Swamp region had one of the smallest African American populations in the state. After the Civil War more Blacks were drawn to the area by jobs in farming, turpentining, logging, and the railroad industry.

Courtesy of Zach S. Henderson Library, Georgia Southern University, Delma E. Presley Collection of South Georgia History and Culture.

Okefenokee Swamp Folklore

Okefenokee Swamp Folklore

Folklorists have helped preserve the region's distinctive folk speech, tales, music, customs, home remedies, and beliefs.

Courtesy of Zach S. Henderson Library, Georgia Southern University, Delma E. Presley Collection of South Georgia History and Culture.

Okefenokee Swamp

Okefenokee Swamp

The swamp's distinctive ecosystem is the subject of legends, tall tales, and personal experience narratives about bears, alligators, and encounters with the natural world.

Courtesy of Explore Georgia, Photograph by Geoff L. Johnson.

Sugar Cane Grind

Sugar Cane Grind

Sugar cane grinds lent to the wiregrass region's occupational folklore as well as provided an opportunity for social gatherings.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia, # clq103.

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Mayhaw Berries

Mayhaw Berries

The fruit of the thorny hawthorn shrub is called mayhaw, and is commonly used to make jellies, syrups, and other products. The hawthorn grows well in wiregrass Georgia, and Colquitt, the seat of Miller County, is considered to be the Mayhaw Capital of the World. Mayhaws are available for only a few weeks in the spring, usually in early May.

Rattlesnake Roundup

Rattlesnake Roundup

A rattlesnake is milked of its venom during a rattlesnake roundup in Fitzgerald, the seat of Ben Hill County, in 1974.

Courtesy of Georgia Archives, Vanishing Georgia, # ben332.

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Wiregrass Folklore

Wiregrass Folklore

President Dwight D. Eisenhower (left) was one of many famous people who enjoyed quail hunting in Georgia's wiregrass region.

Courtesy of Thomas County Historical Museum

Rafting Folklore

Rafting Folklore

The earliest raftsmen were farmers of the river valleys of the Altamaha River and its tributaries, the Oconee, Ocmulgee, and Ohoopee.

Courtesy of Delma E. Presley

Timber Raft

Timber Raft

A raft that began its journey at Lumber City on the Ocmulgee River floated for twelve days before arriving in Darien.

Courtesy of Delma E. Presley

Rafting Folklore

Rafting Folklore

Some present-day rafters attempt to re-create the lore and adventure of the earlier era.

Photograph by Delma E. Presley

Swamp Gravy

Swamp Gravy

Since its opening in 1992, the play's impact has been felt around the nation as cast members share their art-based community revitalization experiences in other towns and states.

Courtesy of Swamp Gravy

Swamp Gravy

Swamp Gravy

Swamp Gravy, Georgia's official state folklife play, is performed annually from July to October in Colquitt and is based on stories from the lives of Miller County residents.

Swamp Gravy

Swamp Gravy

From the beginning, one of the play's goals was to bridge the racial divide in predominantly white Miller County, and the cast has always had been integrated.

Heaven Bound

Heaven Bound

Performed in pantomime, the play Heaven Bound depicts the conflict between the pilgrims and Satan, who is the main character. Churchgoers make up the cast, which includes thirty-four players and ten pilgrims.

Courtesy of Gregory Coleman

Heaven Bound

Heaven Bound

Heaven Bound pioneered Black theater in the South at a time when Blacks were shut out of mainstream traditional theater. The Black and white people who packed Big Bethel's sanctuary to see the drama seated themselves in an integrated fashion, though racial segregation was still the law.

Courtesy of Gregory Coleman

Heaven Bound

Heaven Bound

The New York Times has called Heaven Bound "one of Atlanta's most enduring traditions." By the turn of the century the play had become one of the longest continuously running theater productions in the nation.

Courtesy of Gregory Coleman