The Gullah trace their heritage directly to the skilled rice farmers of Sierra Leone, West Africa. They were enslaved for these skills and forced to work on rice plantations in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. The swampy conditions made it uncomfortable for the plantation owners so they left the Gullah people mostly unattended. The isolation allowed Gullah dialect, customs and art to survive undiluted for 100 years. One of the hallmark's of Gullah culture is sweet grass basket "sewing."