Gullah float makes national debut

WASHINGTON (WCIV) - A piece of the Lowcountry made its national debut Monday at the Presidential Inauguration. For the Gullah-Geechee community it was a time to shine.

Park Ranger and coordinator for the Gullah Geechee Corridor Michael Allen says it was an unbelievable experience.

"It was unique to see it there physically among all the state, and community groups organizations, that was unique in itself and gratifying," he said.

A lot of love and devotion was put into the float that was built in St. Matthews a few weeks ago. Ron Daise, chairman of the Gullah corridor, says everyone feels honored to be a part of a historic day.

"Everyone is very excited about this opportunity to represent the significance of the Gullah-Geechee culture to the world community," he said.

The Gullah commission applied to participate in the first inauguration, but was not selected. This year, their application was selected out of nearly 2,000.

Daise said this time they showed the culture's direct ties to First Lady Michelle Obama.

"There is a realization by our participation in the parade of our significance and contribution to American heritage and we are very proud," he said.

The float showcased artifacts dear to the culture, including sweet grass baskets and a fishing net and ship. The float also showcased a tree decorated with bottles, which has significance too. The fixture was used to lure evil away from homes.

The Gullah-Geechee Commission hopes that the national spotlight will bring attention to the culture.

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