During the heyday of Caravan living it is important to remember that these were rarely the dwelling of a loner. The Caravan was the hub of the nuclear family and groups of wagons represented larger, extended family groups and allies. We are social creatures that thrive in community.
Every traveler has a campfire has the center of daily life. The hearth has been our home for 1.5 - 2 million years now. No wonder it fascinates us and brings so much comfort. Nomads in a stationary culture are often tolerated at best and left only marginal space to congregate. This will probably never … Continue reading Traveller Life
Peter van Beek has documented the difficult life of nomads in a modernizing Europe. Fear, stereotypes, and unfamiliarity dominate their way of life and place them into a partially self-imposed, marginalized portion of society. Although there is terrible poverty, he documents family life and survival of these remarkable people. But it isn't all oppressive … Continue reading Romanian Gypsies
Scenes of life on the road and around the campsites. This is part of a series of images, mostly Romany, Irish, and Scottish Travellers collected from around the internet. Many of these historic images found on the web are without citation. When a clear link to a source is found, I try to include it. … Continue reading Campsite Life
Scottish Highland Travellers…
I really love these family photos generally taken in front of the wagon. Scottish Travellers is a loose term that covers many diverse peoples in Scotland and even beyond. Here, I'm primarily looking at the indigenous folk who seem to be descend from an in situ population of itinerant craftsmen and laborers. Edited from Wikipedia: … Continue reading Scottish Highland Travellers…
Hassled by the Gendarmes
A somewhat dilapidated or damaged vardo in France 1920s - 1930s. People with no fixed address have always drawn suspicion while simultaneously their lifestyle is romanticized.
The World is Your Workshop
In Britain and Ireland, the Romany Gypsys and the Traveller community are often associated with low-skilled work such as scrap dealers, horse traders, musical entertainers, or more nefarious activities outside the societal norms. However, there were plenty of skilled craftsmen and craftswomen providing goods and services to people around the country. Below is an image … Continue reading The World is Your Workshop
Community of Wanderers
Nomads are not loners. In fact, humans do not do well alone in any setting. We have always been communal people, depending upon one another for help and support. Many hands make light work and it is essential to be near others you can depend on. I have been collecting images of Traveller communities for … Continue reading Community of Wanderers
I don't have much information about the image above but I like what it is depicting. Mom working the bellows while Dad heats up something he's working on while the kids all look on. Like most travelers in Europe, these (probably Roma) don't have fancy wagons or accommodations; just carts and some rough tents. We … Continue reading Itinerant Blacksmiths
Banished to New York:
... an interesting historical post about the fate of traveling folk in 17th century Scotland Scotland had draconian laws against travelling folk. Hostility towards “Egyptians” took off under King James VI, who was also famously opposed to Border Reivers, Gaelic-speaking Highlanders, alleged Witches, Protestant religious dissenters and tobacco smokers. Edinburgh, 13 May 1682: ‘His Royall … Continue reading Banished to New York:
More Historic Caravans in Art
Here are a couple final Alfred Munnings images of Romani caravans in an English countryside. As a keen observer, he definitely caught the important details of each type of caravan and the essentials of camp life. The watercolor above is somewhat unusual for Munnings as it shows no animals, people, or campfire. Above is a … Continue reading More Historic Caravans in Art
Historic Romani Caravan Paintings
These images might whet the appetite for summer days, picnics, an caravanning off into the great unknown; or it might just be a bunch of pretty pictures if the former isn't your cup of tea. Anyway, these are generally labelled and classed as Gypsy images although we know that this is often seen as an … Continue reading Historic Romani Caravan Paintings
Here's another look at an image I posted quite a while ago. I really like this photo. These Scottish Travellers give a glimpse of some less-than-stereotypical living waggons (sic). Very few wanderers could afford the classic Dunton Reading wagon but made do with more affordable accommodations; possibly even owner-built. All three of the caravans pictured … Continue reading Another Look
Home is Where the Hearth Is
...and the Vardo Will be Close by. Some important facts about caravan living before the ultra-modern RVs came along that may help people understand some of the choices I have made about my own wagon: The caravan is the hub around which camp is built, but most "living" actually takes place outside in the wide … Continue reading Home is Where the Hearth Is
A Traveller's (sic) Tuesday. Just a glimpse into life in a bender tent. Despite the glamorous view of life on the road depicted by the romantic English Gypsy Caravans, this is how most Roma lived in 19th Century Britain. Gypsies, Camped on the Beach, near South Shields, Ralph Hedley Charlton, painted 1876.
Getting back to our theme of traveler's, caravans, and other wanderers of the world... a few images from Pascal Dagnan-Bouveret a French Naturalist Painter of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I believe I would enjoy siting around this campfire. Once a common scene, now virtually lost in an era of loud, fume-belching machinery. … Continue reading Traveler’s Life
Images from “Gipsy Life” by George Coalville
From a book published in 1880 about the Roma and some thoughts on how to "improve" their condition in Britain. He traces their history in Britain from their first recorded arrival in Scotland in 1514 and is an interesting and somewhat sympathetic read. Here are some images and a couple snatches of the writing. Several … Continue reading Images from “Gipsy Life” by George Coalville
Romano Rai (Romany Rye) (Traditional, English) I'm a Romano Rai, just an old didikai, I build all my temples beneath the blue sky, I live in a tent and I don't pay no rent, and that's why they call me the Romano Rai. Didi-a-didi-a-didi-di-kai, chavves, Tika-dika-tika-a-lai Your Daddus tryin' to sell a mush a kushto … Continue reading Romany Rai
A Real Land Yacht
This is part of a series of images, mostly Romany, Irish and Scottish Travellers collected from around the internet. Many of these historic images found on the web are without citation. When a clear link to a source is found, I try to include it. If a source is known, please pass it on and … Continue reading A Real Land Yacht
A Wayside Camp
I love this image from Life Magazine. It has a real neighborhood feel.