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Couple looks to take Gullah Geechee Wisdom Cards to the next level

Ron and Natalie Daise
Ron and Natalie Daise

Ron and Natalie Daise, a husband and wife team, have long been educators and promoters of Gullah Geechee life, culture, and language. During the 1990s, they hosted the series Gullah Gullah Island on Nick Jr. television and have continued to educate.

They are now working on an educational product and are hoping to get some financial assistance in its production.

The have created Gullah Geechee Wisdom Cards. You pull a card from the deck, and go to the guidebook that Ron wrote, which is based on ancient and contemporary Gullah wisdom, and then find something you can apply to your own life.

“Gullah Geechee Wisdom Cards are our brainchild,” Natalie says. “We were looking for ways to share more information about Gullah Geechee culture, African American culture, beyond what you could see on television.”

“These cards are spiritual in nature. There are seven decks, based on seven principals or tenets of Gullah Geechee culture and heritage. Each focus card has seven guiding principles. The seven decks of wisdom cards reflect respect for elders, tenacity, creativity, heritage, spirituality, family and community and self-sufficiency,” Ron said.

There is much more information, including songs, stories, language, and other aspects of the Gullah Geechee community and culture.

Natalie, a visual artist, does all the art on the cards. She said you will see a lot of collard greens on them, because to her, collard greens represent family, heritage, the Gullah Culture.

They are hoping to raise funds through Kickstarter.com, a fund-raising site on the Internet. Ron said the funds from the Kickstarter campaign (planned to begin on April 3) will be used for photography of the images, production of the cards, and the design and printing of the booklets. Additionally, costs for mailing and packaging will be covered. They are planning a two-piece cardboard box and maybe a small burlap bag. There are Kickstarter fees for processing the funding campaign. The goal is $8,250 for the initial production of 350 to 500 sets of cards.

For contributing at varying levels or more, but not enough to reach the next level, sponsors will receive awards identified by Gullah Geechee expressions.

The amounts and awards are as follows: For $975, the Vision fa de foucha; for $325, the We haat be full ot; for $78, the Smaat fa tru; for $49, the Gullah Tings fa Tink Bout; for $38, the Tru Mout, for $28, the Tek ya foot een yah han; for $10, the Hey dere! $1 sponsors will receive a Tenky Tenky award.

Ron, who was born on St. Helena Island, will be presenting Gullah Geechee Skrent (Strength) at Brookgreen Gardens on April 12, 19, and 26, and on May 3, 10, 17, and 24 at 1 p.m. It is based on information from the upcoming product. In a moving interactive presentation, he shares the values and qualities that are inherent to Gullah Geechee culture and heritage. Songs, poetry, excerpts from cultural writings, and personal insights showcase seven foundational cultural markers. Participants, in turn, will thoughtfully workshop ways to value their individual heritages through the strengths of Gullah Geechee culture that are explored.

Gullah Geechee Skrent (Strength)” also will be presented at the 7th Annual Archaeological Conference for the SC Lowcountry on April 8 at College of Charleston. Its theme is Cultural Heritage & Tourism.

For more or to donate, visit www.kickstarter.com, and search for Gullah Geechee Wisdom Cards. For more, visit www.gullahgeecheewisdomcardssite.wordpress.com.

Peggy Mishoe, pegmish@sccoast.net, 365-3885.

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