The Dying Art of Deer-Driving in the South Carolina Low-Country. (Essay)

By Strauch, Ileana | Southern Cultures, Winter 2002 | Go to article overview

The Dying Art of Deer-Driving in the South Carolina Low-Country. (Essay)


Strauch, Ileana, Southern Cultures


The Gullahs are descended from African slaves taken to work on the cotton and rice plantations of the Sea Islands of South Carolina and Georgia. Isolated until recently from white and even other African American influences, the Gullahs developed a distinctive creole language and preserved many West African customs, as well as methods of cooking, fishing, and hunting. By tradition, the Gullahs were farmers, first as slaves and then after the Civil War as small landholders, sharecroppers, and plantation laborers. Some were skilled woodsmen and worked as drivers in deer hunts. In this tradition, mounted drivers and hounds would flush deer out of the thick woods and undergrowth of the South Carolina low-country to where hunters with shotguns waited at intervals along the deer paths. Low-country deer-driving recalls the African hunting practice of driving game into nets or towards waiting armed hunters, while the hounds, horns, and mounted huntsmen are elements of the English mounted hunt. With the outside world increasingly intruding, the Gullahs have found it more and more difficult to keep alive their unique traditions. The loss of open land and the preference for the ease of "still hunting" have nearly doomed the mounted hunt. These images chronicle nearly a century of low-country deer-driving tradition as still practiced by the South Carolina Middleton Hunting Club.

Bill Green, the only remaining Gullah deer-driver, currently works at the Middleton Hunting Club in South Carolina's low-country, where he cares for the horses, trains the dogs, and locates the deer. The owner of Low Country Cooking and Catering, Green also has been a guest on the Martha Stewart Show, where he demonstrated his traditional technique of steaming oysters in a wet burlap bag. Photograph courtesy of Ileana Strauch, 1980.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The way Bill Green does his job hasn't changed all that much since the days of Joe White, a Middleton Hunting Club driver in the 1930s. The Middleton and the Lavington clubs outside of Charleston are the last where deer are still driven in the traditional way, with riders waiting for the deer to be forced out of the woods by drivers and by hounds. Note White's McClellan army saddle, which could be purchased cheaply after the Civil War as army surplus and which is still used today. Photographs courtesy of Edward Lowndes.

[ILLUSTRATIONS OMITTED]

David and Walter Gourdin, two brothers pictured here in the 1930s, mere the drivers for Medway Plantation and remain a rare example of the art being passed down through generations of a single family. Their grandfather, Dublin Gourdin, was a driver born into slavery at Medway. Photograph courtesy of Edward Lowndes.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Very few Charlestonians could afford to keep a horse, so they would rent fully tacked horses and mules from Gullah farmers. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Dying Art of Deer-Driving in the South Carolina Low-Country. (Essay)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.