Slave Songs of the Georgia Sea Islands (Brown Thrasher Books) (Paperback)
A valuable collection of folk music and lore from the Gullah culture, Slave Songs of the Georgia Sea Islands preserves the rich traditions of slave descendants on the barrier islands of Georgia by interweaving their music with descriptions of their language, religious and social customs, and material culture.Collected over a period of nearly twenty-five years by Lydia Parrish, the sixty folk songs and attendant lore included in this book are evidence of antebellum traditions kept alive in the relatively isolated coastal regions of Georgia. Over the years, Parrish won the confidence of many of the African-American singers, not only collecting their songs but also discovering other elements of traditional culture that formed the context of those songs. When it was first published in 1942, Slave Songs of the Georgia Sea Islands contained much material that had not previously appeared in print. The songs are grouped in categories, including African survival songs; shout songs; ring-play, dance, and fiddle songs; and religious and work songs. In additions to the lyrics and melodies, Slave Songs includes Lydia Parrish's explanatory notes, character sketches of her informants, anecdotes, and a striking portfolio of photographs. Reproduced in its original oversized format, Slave Songs of the Georgia Sea Islands will inform and delight students and scholars of African-American culture and folklore as well as folk music enthusiasts.
LYDIA PARRISH (1871-1953) was a native of New Jersey who spent many winters on St. Simons Island with her husband, the artist Maxfield Parrish. In addition to collecting spirituals and other African American songs, Parrish had an avid interest in the history of southern Loyalist families who had relocated to the Caribbean as refugees following the Revolutionary War.