Thursday, September 8, 2016

Gullah Lore - Plat-Eyes

While visiting Charleston, we were introduced to one very interesting and unusual culture found within the boundaries of the Lowcountry called Gullah.   Gullah is a language as well as religious ideas and superstition similar to voodoo for many descendants of the African slaves.  (As a background note, the Gullah culture came to be as a result of many tribes coming together as they made their way across the Atlantic in their efforts to combine languages and beliefs.)
Once they arrived, some of these folk traditions were carried over to the other Charleston inhabitants and even included in the architecture.  On our walks through Charleston, we noticed that even some doorknockers reflect Gullah roots.  Plat-eyes are mysterious creatures that most often resemble a familiar animal - usually a dog or a cat with glowing eyes.  If you have committed a crime or even an unjust deed against another person, you can expect a visit from a plat-eye who will chase you and torment you until the evil deed has been rectified.  They are scary creatures that you most want to avoid in the dark.  The doorknocker seen here in this photo is from the front door of a very nice home around Church Street.  Placing the Plat-Eye on your front door is sure to dissuade any other plat-eyes from bothering you I'm sure.