In this special episode, hosts Maréshah and Abigail listen to Queen Quet, the Chieftess and Head-of-State of the Gullah Geechee Nation, explain how they are utilizing indigenous scientific knowledge to protect and adapt their Sea Islands from modern colonization and climate change.
The Gullah/Geechee Nation exists from Jacksonville, NC, to Jacksonville, FL. It encompasses the Sea Islands and thirty to thirty-five miles inland to the St. John’s River. On these islands, people from numerous African ethnic groups linked with indigenous Americans and created the unique Gullah language and traditions from which later came “Geechee.” The Gullah/Geechee people have been considered “a nation within a nation” from the time of chattel enslavement in the United States until they officially became an internationally recognized nation on July 2, 2000. At the time of their declaration as a nation, they confirmed the election of their first “head pun de boddee”-head of state and official spokesperson and queen mother. They elected Queen Quet, Chieftess, and Head-of-State for the Gullah/Geechee Nation.