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God, Dr. Buzzard, and the Bolito Man: A Saltwater Geechee Talks About Life on Sapelo Island, Georgia
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God, Dr. Buzzard, and the Bolito Man: A Saltwater Geechee Talks About Life on Sapelo Island, Georgia

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  105 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Equal parts cultural history and memoir, God, Dr. Buzzard, and the Bolito Man recounts a traditional way of life that is threatened by change, with stories that speak to our deepest notions of family, community, and a connection to one’s homeland.

Cornelia Walker Bailey models herself after the African griot, the tribal storytellers who keep the history of their people. Bai
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Paperback, 368 pages
Published July 17th 2001 by Anchor (first published August 1st 2000)
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Suzanne
This was a very interesting tale about Ms. Bailey's life on Sapelo Island and a brief history of the how the Geechee people came to reside on the island in the days of slavery. I loved how she also detailed her trip to Sierra Leone and how fascinating it was to discover that many tenants of her culture on Sapelo Island mirrored the culture in Sierra Leone. She even marveled over how the landscape was similar in both locations! I was happy to see that she succinctly documented how her culture is ...more
Melinda
Excellent little book about Sapelo written by a woman who knows it well. I enjoyed the stories about her family and the folklore, also the history of the saltwater Geechees who were brought to the island as slaves and who, many of them, bought land there after the Civil War. Bailey's voice is especially evocative and a treat to read. She writes about the industrialist Richard Reynolds and the State of Georgia moving the Geechee people off their land. I wonder how many families of the original Ge ...more
J.D. Horn
An amazing and beautiful book. The perfect combination of memoir and folklore. When, as a small child, the author died and came back to life, her family predicted that she would do important work on this earth; they were right. Cornelia Walker Bailey is indeed a special person and gifted storyteller. May her efforts to protect the Geechee presence on Sapelo succeed.
Sandy
I really enjoyed this book but some of the stories and chapters where boring and too much. But I loved learning about this island and I loved the superstitions that they had and the folklore.
Margi
Thoroughly enjoyable book about Mrs. Bailey; her family, culture, home and customs. Told in a conversational style, this book makes you feel like Cornelia is sitting with you telling her tales. There is so much interesting info about the Geechee culture and how those things are one fading away. It was also interesting, yet sad to learn how the families on Sapelo Island were driven to other places by unfairness, greed, and other things out of their control. Mrs. Bailey is keeping her families sto ...more
Shelley
This memoir, while describing life on a Georgian island, resonated with me even more keenly because of the simple connections and similarities between their post slavery culture and ours in Trinidad. The author refers to their equivalent to our sugar cake, belly bands', burying the navel string, Anancy, soucouyant, sweet soap, the game of whey whey, obeah man, frizzle fowl, among others. Thoroughly readable, memorable and important, this work also lauds the preservation of cultural identity in t ...more
Vivian
Dec 11, 2014 Vivian added it
Very good read.
Dana
This is a wonderful book that shares the personal story of Ms. Bailey growing up on Sapelo Island. It also shares many details of the culture and folk tales of the Geechee people. Ms. Bailey still lives on Sapelo. You may visit her "inn" on the island as she is an advocate and historian for the 67 residents who still can trace their roots back to the days of slavery on Sapelo. If you are interested in the sea islands, read this book and visit Sapelo.
Victoria
Very enjoyable because I've spent several summers on Sapelo and this is a different memory and a different impression of that landscape than I had as a researcher.
Mel
Engaging stories from an American culture that most have never heard of ... inspires me to be more aware of the stories that my grandparents/family have told.
Michael
Fascinating and educating read on the place and people of Sapelo Island. Recommended reading for anybody familiar with the island or Geechee people.
planetkimi
Not as much information about herbalism as I had hoped to find, but a great read nonetheless. Ms. Bailey has a lot of amazing stories to tell!
Sleepless G
Simply fascinating. I have visited 2 of these Islands...I would like to put the rest on my Bucket List.
Laura
Interesting and dynamic story of the Sapelo island Gullah. Well written and full of lore.
Diane
This a beautiful book.
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