It took 26 years to translate the Bible into Gullah, but just six to create an audio version of the Good Book, which was released recently.

“Healin fa de Soul,” is a 5-CD set of readings from the Gullah Bible and includes a dramatized version of the Gospel of John.

It was released in November at the St. Helena Island-based Penn Center, founded in 1862 as one of the nation’s first schools for freedmen after Union troops captured the area during the Civil War.

The readings, which feature 24 local Gullah speakers, are based on the Gullah Bible, “De Nyew Testament.” Translation into Gullah began in 1979 and the full testament was published by the American Bible Society in 2005, according to the Associated Press.

Gullah, also known as Geechee, developed among Africans along the Southeastern coast as a way to communicate with people from other tribes and Europeans.

For years, people thought Gullah was poor English, but during the Great Depression scholar Lorenzo Dow Turner studied Gullah on the Sea Islands and determined that it was made up of English and more than 4,000 words from many different African languages.

Read the rest of this entry »