Monday, November 25, 2013

Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves

peace to you

c. 1914
courtesy Indiana Music Libraries, site address to the right

I searched, but could not find a way to say
in any Romany language.
So, we will have to do with English today!

gypsy caravan paper cutting by Helen Musselwhite

Who doesn't know Cher's famous rendition of
'Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves'?

Here is a recording of Cher, with some great footage of gypsies:

vintage gypsy woman with guitar

I first started researching the Romany people for two reasons:

1. I love their gypsy wagons!

2. I could not believe it when in 2009 France deported 10,000 Roma
to Romania and Bulgaria as illegal immigrants.

By the summer of 2012 the mounting criticism of the French government
over their treatment of the Roma spurred an emergency meeting  for talks
on how to handle the estimated 15,000 Roma living in camps across France.

Roma relocation to Bucharest

vintage gypsies caravan

Gypsies have a long history of culture and traditions.
New studies in 2012 revealed that the most likely origins of the Romany peoples 
occurred out of India in the early 12th century.

vintage photo gypsy woman

It had long been believed that the gypsies came out of Egypt,
resulting in the name 'gypsy' and due to their darker skin tones.
However, the new studies disprove that.

forever friends at the Horse Fair in Stowe, England

Truthfully, I even get mixed up on the proper terms to use!
So please, if I use a word wrong, drop me a comment so I can be more accurate.


You can find Roma, or Travellers, all over the world.
I didn't know that!
There are of course the Travellers in Britain and the U.S.A. and Canada.

There are distinct Roma families in Eastern Europe,
including Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, etc.

'Feast with Gipsy Musicians'
by Theodor Aman, 1884

Also sizable Romany populations are in Western Europe, such as
Germany, France, Sweden, Finland, Norway and more.

'Young Gypsies"
by William Adolphe Bouguereau, 1879

There are even populations in South America!

Spanish Gypsy


Gypsy dancers on the village Green, United Kingdom, 2007

Dausa people, India, 2008

Today many Roma peoples reject the term 'gypsy' because of all the historically 
negative images and innuendos connected with the word.

sign in a South London business window

This prejudice is traditionally found in Eastern European countries with large Romany populations, but recent tensions have spread with Romany families seeking a new life in Western Europe.

Western Europe gypsies,

In 1992 Bert Karlsson, leader of the Ny Demokrati in Sweden said:

'Gypsies are responsible for 90% of crime against senior citizens in Sweden.'


In Central and Eastern Europe the Romas often live in squatter communities.
Very high unemployment plagues them.

gypsy boy sitting in ruins of home outside Madrid, destroyed by the Spanish government

Thousands of Romany were deported and their encampments were razed
during the presidency of Nicolas Sarkozy, France.

Roma forced displacement, waiting in Paris, France for plane to Romania, 2012

Romany women displaced from France, 11/2012

This is part I of a series on Gypsies.
I'll post for now, but I will have more next time!

Have a wonderful day,
and on pinterest:  kkloberdans

1 comment:

  1. I fine this very interesting. I wonder were or what country they started in. Thank you I in joy the info on this matter.