Romanian Gypsies

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

Tents and the Vardo Life; What is a Bender?

Travellers in Europe and Britain have always been associated with a style tent called a bender.  This comes from the construction technique of cutting saplings and bending them into a dome, elongated dome, or half cylinder shape,  These frameworks were then covered with tarps and made watertight in the temperate damp.  The origins of this … Continue reading Tents and the Vardo Life; What is a Bender?

Itinerant Blacksmiths

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

Bender Tent

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.

Traveler’s Life

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

Romany Rai

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