From staff reports
On Wednesday, Sept. 29, in Columbia, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster presented Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/ Geechee Nation, with the Order of the Palmetto, the State of South Carolina’s highest civilian honor presented in recognition of a lifetime of extraordinary achievement, service and contributions on a national or statewide scale.
Queen Quet, a native of St. Helena Island, has received approximately 300 awards and honors over the years and sees this one as not only for her, but for the entire Gullah/Geechee Nation especially for her ancestors that built South Carolina through their knowledge and skills.
“Disya award sweet as a Gullah/Geechee Palmetto rose,” Queen Quet said in a release.
Gov. McMaster recognized the work that Queen Quet has done globally to insure the continuation of the Gullah/Geechee culture and the Gullah language and Geechee dialect.
Gov. McMaster made it clear that Queen Quet will continue to do this work, and that without roots, there is no nation. Queen Quet originated a statement that is the slogan of her organization which guides the work that she does consistently – “Hunnuh mus tek cyare de root fa heal de tree!”
Believing it is divinely ordered that she now holds such a high honor bearing the South Carolina state tree, she said she will hang it on the wall next to the Gullah/Geechee Nation’s flag, which also is embossed with a tree, so that the trees can stay rooted together, holding the land and culture of the Gullah/Geechee in place in her home state.
To learn more about the work Queen Quet does on a daily basis via the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition, visit www.GullahGeecheeLand.com and www.GullahGeechee.net.
Above: South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster presents Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation, with the Order of the Palmetto on Wednesday, Sept. 29, in Columbia. Submitted photo.