The ten essays in The Crucible of Carolina explore the connections between the language and culture of South Carolina's barrier islands, West Africa, the Caribbean, and England. Decades before any formal, scholarly interest in South Carolina barrier island life, outsiders had been commenting on and documenting the "African" qualities of the region's black inhabitants. These qualities have long been manifest in their language, religious practices, music, and material culture. Not surprisingly, the influence of the pioneering linguist Lorenzo Dow Turner is reflected in many of these essays. The work presented in this volume, however, moves beyond Turner in dealing with the discourse and stylistic aspects of Gullah; in relating patterns of Gullah to other anglophone creoles and to various processes of creolization; and in questioning the usefulness of "retention, " "survival, " and "continuity" as operational concepts in comparative research. Opening new and advancing previous areas of research, The Crucible of Carolina also contributes to a further appreciation of the richness and diversity of South Carolina's cultural heritage.