The Fisher King. Gullah Fishermen, the Watermen.

FisherKing©c.hutson wrenn

In honor of African American Watermen. ©2012C.HutsonWrenn

Thank you to the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium for the following:

For hundreds of years, the Gullah people—slaves and their descendants who lived primarily along coastal rivers and on sea islands—created or enriched the lowcountry’s seafood recipes and flavors. They supplemented their diet and income by oystering, shrimping, crabbing, and fishing.

Gullah cooks made seafood dishes (shrimp and grits, Frogmore stew, and she-crab soup) by blending European, African, and North American ingredients and recipes.

A common lowcountry dish is a pilau (pronounced “perlow” by the Gullah people), a kind of stew.

To make a pilau, a cook heats a broth fattened by salted pork, shrimp, or oysters. Once the broth is simmering, long-grained rice is added—two parts liquid to one part of rice by volume—and often the cook also puts in field peas, greens, or other ingredients. The pot is then covered, the rice steamed until nearly dry.

Hoppin’ John is a pilau of rice, field peas, pork, and sometimes greens that many South Carolinians eat for good luck and prosperity on New Year’s Day.

“You name the pilau after what you put in it,” Emory Campbell, former chairman of the Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission, once said. “If you put oysters in, that was an oyster pilau; put in shrimp, that was a shrimp pilau.”

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I was called to be an artist. And as an old old midwife said to me "If the Lord wants you to do something, you won't have no good luck' til you do." So, here I am, sharing what I love, longing to illuminate the work of art, which is everywhere.

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Posted in art, Arts & Culture, Charleston South Carolina, Food, Gullah, South Carolina History
7 comments on “The Fisher King. Gullah Fishermen, the Watermen.
  1. Charlotte – our great grandpa used to get in trouble for speaking Gullah at the dinner table-i would love to have been a sentient fly on the wall!

  2. Wilbur Hutson says:

    Charles was our great-grandpa, Albert The USN Captain was our grandpa, and the race driver Thomas Hutson our father… Wilbur [Mike’s brother]

  3. I’m really glad that I came across your page. i got hungry just reading the pilau. I write on Gullah traditions myself from time to time and did an internship for Mr. Emory Campbell at Penn Center.

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What’s this?

Welcome to my blog about the Lowcountry of South Carolina, a place proud with beauty, history and art. Sometimes we feel a call, to be, to go, to do. I was called to be an artist, and as an old midwife from Alabama said, “If the good Lord wants you to do something, you won’t have no good luck until you do it.”

So here I am writing about what I know, about the 'under glimmer' as the poet Basho, says, the way I have learned to see, to notice. I am inspired by, and talking about the history and art and culture of this place that has called me to herself. By the ancestors.

My background includes a degree in fine arts from a small private college in Florida, and before that, four years of all girls' boarding school in Asheville. I worked as a professional photographer, helped my children grow up, and now and I love seasoned things, good food, better conversation, beauty, my beloved and beautiful Italian Greyhound, Beau. Moved by the sacred places and stories of this beautiful historic land called the Lowcountry, I am here in spirit and I hope to infect you with my love of this place.

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