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Daufuskie Island, South Carolina

Rich in Gullah history, Daufuskie Island is a short boat ride away from Hilton Head Island. Both islands are intertwined in Gullah culture and deep generational lineage. Daufuskie is one of the few places left where you can step back in time as soon as you land on its shore. Known for its simpler island life, Daufuskie is the type of place where the regulars know each other and most places are a short golf cart ride away.
First Union African Baptist Church est. 1888, Daufuskie Island, SC
Pictured: Monica Greene, Binisha Brown, Dwan Brown, Kiona Jenkins, Maria Robinson,
Nioka Bryan, Brinda Washington
Photo Credit: Monica Greene

By Luana M. Graves Sellars

Rich in Gullah history, Daufuskie Island is a short boat ride away from Hilton Head Island. Both islands are intertwined in Gullah culture and deep generational lineage. Daufuskie is one of the few places left where you can step back in time as soon as you land on its shore. Known for its simpler island life, Daufuskie is the type of place where the regulars know each other and most places are a short golf cart ride away.

Named by the Muscogee Indians because of the island’s shape, Daufuskie means ‘sharp feather’. Considered a historic and cultural treasure, the entire island has been listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. The last sea island in South Carolina, Daufuskie is only five miles long, and is home to about 400 residents.

The 8-mile long island was the home to several plantations, where sea island cotton and indigo were the primary crops grown on the island. Indigo might not be the island’s main crop anymore, yet, the traditional practice of coloring clothes with indigo still continues today.

One of the island’s remaining symbols of the Gullah culture, First Union African Baptist Church still has an active congregation today. Originally built in 1881 by former slaves, the land was purchased for $82. For years, like most Gullah churches, served as a place of worship, as well as a school for their children.

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