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Etched In The Eyes: The Spirit of a People called Gullah

When I think of Gullah people I feel a resilience that is round and textured like the glow of the moon. Like a black pearl suspended by the magic winds of the creator god, gleaming in the sunlight. Energized by the waves of emotion from the ones who recognize its enriching beauty and its roots.

Etched In The Eyes
Photographs from Etched In The Eyes: The Spirit of a People called Gullah. View Slideshow | Need help?
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Etched in The Eyes, The Spirit of a People called Gullah is a collection of narratives displayed both through images. This presentation will allow you to cross a bridge that will never be destroyed, a bridge that although burdened by the trades of time has stood because of deep roots in the spirit.

If one wanted to search the "New World" to find the roots of Black America the journey would begin along the coastline of South Carolina and Georgia. Across many miles of rainy days, ships sailed from the motherland of Africa west to the New World. With it, full of captured cargo, enslaved and meticulously placed in the hull. For over 200 years these ships mastered by European pirates brought millions of Africans to lands unfamiliar with the textures of their feet. Through harsh, ungodly conditions of treatment Africans in the "New World" kept their wit about them.

Dave Herman
Multimedia artist, Dave Herman, creator of Etched In The Eyes: The Spirit of a People called Gullah.
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Not unlike along the shores of West Africa, the sea island shores along the southeastern coast of America is full of energy. This is a place where the presence of the creator god is so overwhelming it can not be denied. You see it in the manner of the landscape: salt water marshes, and great big oaks with the slivery locks of Spanish moss. You feel it in the warm southern breeze, and you are welcomed by it through the folks that nurture the spirit of the soil.

Traveling back home to the rich soils of his native Georgetown, South Carolina, writer and photographer Dave Herman sets out to examine "the young, the old, and the lives in between" of the unique Gullah/Geechee coastal culture. Herman relates his strong tie to his homeland, family, and ancestry through thought-provoking photographs, video and writing, culminating into his latest traveling exhibition, ETCHED IN THE EYES: The Spirit of a People called Gullah. Says Herman of his practice as a photographer:

The living have a tremendous journey through life, and although we are physically bound to this gravitational pull our spirits and personalities reach out and make great strides to extend and mingle with our minds and souls. We live in a world where truths are told through the eyes of others. I see those truths everyday. God allows us to be a breathing vessel that can see, feel, live. We can stretch to fit our imaginations and then grow to imagine more. I pray to always be social in my work as a photographer documenting what I see as "real."

 - Dave Herman