Drums and Shadows

Drums and Shadows is a book by Mary Granger published in 1940. The book is an account of oral folklore collected in Georgia from African-Americans, namely the Gullah people of the Sea Islands, many of whom had been slaves.

The main focus of the book is the set of beliefs gathered from these people, much of which today falls under the category of Hoodoo, including spirits, talismans, lucky and unlucky actions and omens. It also examines the use of drums and dancing during celebrations, funerals and baptisms, as well as other aspects of their folklore. Quotes from the interviewees are recorded in dialect.

Granger uses the information gathered, both from the former slaves interviewed and from African ethnographers and folklore-experts, to conclude that these beliefs originated in Africa. The publishing of the book was done through the Savannah Unit of the Georgia branch of the Federal Writers' Project, of which Granger was a District Supervisor. The copyright has not been renewed, and the work is now in the public domain.

Some of the stories in Drums and Shadows served as an inspiration for the central song in Toni Morrison's novel Song of Solomon.

Famous quotes containing the words drums and, shadows and/or drums:

    With drums and guns, and guns and drums
    The enemy nearly slew ye,
    My darling dear, you look so queer,
    Och, Johnny, I hardly knew ye!
    Unknown. Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye (l. Chorus.)

    When the hounds of spring are on winter’s traces,
    The mother of months in meadow or plain
    Fills the shadows and windy places
    With lisp of leaves and ripple of rain;
    —A.C. (Algernon Charles)

    It was soldiers went marching over the rocks
    And still the birds came, came in watery flocks,
    Because it was spring and the birds had to come.
    No doubt that soldiers had to be marching
    And that drums had to be rolling, rolling, rolling.
    Wallace Stevens (1879–1955)