WHAT IS A "GYPSY"? Compared to the people of Europe and other nearby regions, Romani had fairly dark skin, so those who encountered them often mistakenly thought that they had come from Egypt. They called them "gypcian," a shortened form of the Middle English "Egypcien," as a result, and eventually this became the modern word "gypsy." Today, people apply the label very generally to many nomadic groups, distinguishing when they mean Romani by capitalizing it. The term has come to have many derogatory connotations, however, so even though some Romani accept it simply due to its widespread use, most do not self-identify with it and consider it to be offensive. In todays world with the exception of the modern day Gypsies who live in lavish homes and are very successful business owners, the traditional "GYPSIES" are a group of nomadic people who move about in caravans, mostly in Europe, Ireland. Many times whole families travel together in these caravans from place to place and they are what may be deemed by many as a culture within a culture. Being gypsy is NOT an ethnicity anymore! This practice does however seem stronger in some ethnic cultures more than others. For some it is a bloodline connection to many families that goes back many generations and therefore it seems like an ethnicity. but its NOT. Many times these people make their living by selling hand crafts, singing, dancing and entertaining for money and even fortune telling. Since they don't usually have a full time job because of their lack of a permanent address or health reasons. alot of times when one is dealing with health issues it makes it hard since they don't have a regular DR to turn to. so many stick with old traditional remedies that have been around for centuries. sometimes its not the best choice to make, but its their choice to make none the less. In my travels its been my experience that more often than not, society tends to shun those who are labeled as "GYPSIES" because of old myths like "all gypsies are dirty and their all thieves and criminals and can not be trusted. its been my experience that this is NOT usually the case and couldn't be further from the truth. They have a very strong code of ethics all their own that they live by. many times the elders of a group act as a governing council and deal with many of their own peoples problems without involving outside authorities since outsiders aren't really trusted or appreciated. Sometimes they can be more stricter than outside authorities depending on the offense. but rest assured,,they do take care of their own, and that can be a good thing or it can be a bad thing. Either way, its not meant for outside eyes. This site is dedicated to the nomadic souls of the southern regions of the United States. These wondrous nomadic people of the earth, that I call "Family"
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Margaret Taylor and her mother Phyllis standing in the doorway of a gypsy caravan, taken in July 1956
THIS SITE IS DEDICATED TO THE GROWING GYPSY CULTURE and BOHEMIAN CRAFTERS, ARTISTS and VARIOUS OTHER NOMADIC SOULS THROUGHOUT THE SOUTHERN REGIONS OF THE UNITED STATES.
Irish Travellers on their way to the Cahirmee Horse Fair in Buttevant, Co. Cork. July 1954.
"There's a race of men that don't fit in, A race that can't sit still. So they break the hearts of kith and kin, And they roam the world at will. They range the field and rove the flood, And they climb the mountain's crest. Their's is the curse of the gypsy blood, And they don't know how to rest.” ~~ Robert W. Service