Hoodoo in Savannah

The Geechee culture is a remnant from what was once a society of black slaves. The area they call home stretches from Savannah southward to an area just below the Ogeechee River, from which they draw their name. Often times this culture is mistakenly called ‘Gullah’, but in actuality the Gullah people exist in an area to the north of Savannah, between Daufuskie Island and Charleston, South Carolina. The two peoples are similar, but not interchangeable: both are rooted in slavery, but the Geechee people have a history and tradition all their own.

Freed after the Civil War, these Island people would often group near the coast where both fishing and farming was plentiful. The community developed their own dialect. In addition to what amounted to their own language (also called ‘Geechee’), this culture also had an elaborate belief system through their African descent. These beliefs are centered on a deep spirituality, believing in both ghosts and in a type of magic cast by charms, potions and amulets.

This magical ability to cast spells is called ‘conjuring’, or ‘casting roots’. A magic spell itself is called a ‘conjure’. The spell is often cast by burying a bag or bundle on the property of the unsuspecting victim. There are also ways of conjuring involving secret potions to drink, powders, nail clippings, and that most powerful of talismans—graveyard dirt. Someone skilled in the art of casting spells is called a root doctor, or a witch doctor. They can be employed if you feel that magic is being used against you.

A witch doctor is very different from a witch, which is often called a ‘boo-hag’. Not to be confused with the Hollywood version, witches in this tradition look no different from regular people. Witches are more akin to vampires, because the belief is that they steal the breath and life-force or essence of the victim. To have your essence stolen by a witch is known as ‘being rid’ or ‘ridden’. If someone looks poor or sickly, the assumption is that a boo-hag stole that person’s energy in the middle of the night; they are being “rid by a witch.”

Savannah’s Forsyth Park Fountain

Savannah’s Forsyth Park was designed after the French ideal of having a central public garden, and the fountain is said to be the garden’s centerpiece (although it isn’t at the center of the park).

However beautiful, the fountain is not unique. It was ordered from a catalogue.

Other cities fancied the catalogue spread, too. Similar fountains exist in New York, Peru and France.

The Grey – Savannah, Georgia

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Johno Morisano and Chef Mashama Bailey partnered to build The Grey in Historic Downtown Savannah. Occupying a 1938 art deco Greyhound Bus Terminal that they painstakingly restored to its original luster, The Grey offers a food, wine and service experience that is simultaneously familiar and elevated. Bringing her personal take on Port City Southern food to a city of her youth allows Mashama to tap into all of her experiences to create dishes that are deep, layered, and soulful in their flavors. With a penchant for regional produce, seafood and meats, guests will find a melting pot of surprising and comforting tastes in all of Mashama’s cooking with something new revealed in each and every visit.

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THE GREY

109 MARTIN LUTHER KING JR BLVD

SAVANNAH, GA

912.662.5999

INFO@THEGREYRESTAURANT.COM

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Savannah’s Forsyth Park Fountain

Savannah’s Forsyth Park was designed after the French ideal of having a central public garden, and the fountain is said to be the garden’s centerpiece (although it isn’t at the center of the park).

However beautiful, the fountain is not unique. It was ordered from a catalogue.

Other cities fancied the catalogue spread, too. Similar fountains exist in New York, Peru and France.