New Interactive Gullah Culture Media Room at the Edisto Island Museum

The Edisto Island Museum will open the final phase of their exhibit From Africa to Edisto Island: Gullah Geechee in late March 2024. The newest exhibit element is an interactive media room, which will include games, maps, and a video. SC Humanities supported this project with a Major Grant.

The Edisto Island Museum has been working on implementing their new exhibit From Africa to Edisto Island: Gullah Geechee since 2019. The interactive media room is the final part of the exhibit, and it is a first for the museum.

The interactive media room includes a hands-on Gullah language activity, a computer station with a series of games, an exhibit about celebrated musician and Edisto native James Jamerson, and a looped video about Gullah Geechee history and culture, including net making and casting, Gullah food, and a storyteller speaking in the Gullah language. The computer games are intended to test the knowledge about what people have learned in the museum and cover topics like sea island cotton and Gullah foodways. One is a musical game to see if visitors can identify the Motown hit that Jamerson played on just by listening to the first few notes. 

Edisto Island Museum Director Gretchen Smith said, “We are very excited about bringing the museum into the 21st century with technology driven, interactive components the museum has not had, previously. The importance of telling the Edisto Island Gullah Geechee story is vital to telling the whole island story. As we look forward to the completion of this final phase, we know it fulfills the museum’s mission of preserving and sharing Edisto’s rich history.”

The exhibit From Africa to Edisto Island: Gullah Geechee tells the Gullah Geechee story of capture in Africa and enslavement in the New World and covers key Gullah Geechee topics that make up their heritage and culture, such as Edisto Island’s cotton economy, language, folklore, spirituality, arts and music, and food.

The new interactive media room will be open at the Edisto Island Museum by late March. During the spring, summer, and fall the museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 12:00-5:00pm. The hours are reduced during the winter months. Check the website to confirm. Admission rates are: Adults (18+) $8.00, Military (Active & Retired w/ ID), Seniors (65+) & Children (10 – 17) $5.00, Children under age 10 are free.

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c)3 organization is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos, and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually. South Carolina Humanities receives funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities as well as corporate, foundation and individual donors. The National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom.