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 many years and I really enjoy the gritty, homespun feel of the old encampments with peeling paint and makeshift tarpaulin shelters. I’m sure this image was not welcome in settled communities around Europe and the shiftless nature of these wanderers led to many suspicions, both unfounded and real.
These are not the rolling home of the wealthy showmen of idle rich but the best compromise for families destined to live on the road.
The vardos bear many differences but within fairly tight physical contraints of size, weight, needs, and technology. It’s important to remember as well that historic travellers of most varieties didn’t design or build their own accommodations but often modified or improved that which they acquired.
Even though they show few relevant details of the caravans themselves these are some of my favorite images; they give us a glimpse of the people who called them home.
Although Traveller families lived (and live) on the margins of “normal” society they were (are) more like their neighbors than not.
I hope you enjoy the photos as we head into the season of Thanksgiving here in North America and give thanks for what we have.
We are at our best and worst in groups, whether that is family or friends. Humans are social animals.