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
A tiny accommodation, side entry single horse style. It is documented that the adults with this style wagon generally slept outdoors except in very bad weather. It was a good way to confine the children and the valuables. This is part of a series of images, mostly Romany, Irish and Scottish Travellers collected from around … Continue reading Paris Travellers
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 Travellers at Home
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?
I really like everything about the image above. We see three very different types of wagon-home-conveyances and a family, wearing clothing of the time. Travellers on the margin of mainstream society have been shunned, persecuted, and culturally dismissed while at the same time romanticized for their freedom and seeming lack of attachment to a more … Continue reading A Romany Family in Scotland
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
... 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:
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.