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
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…
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.
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?
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
As usual with internet information, captions and data are suspect at best. However, this is a great image of Romani on the road so let's just go with it. At first glance, it looks almost like a scene from the American west in the 19th century. It reminds me of early sheep camp images from … Continue reading Romani in Switzerland ca. 1890?
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
...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.