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Help: Gypsies v Travellers v Tinkers

GUEST,Geordie 10 Feb 02 - 09:11 PM
Peg 10 Feb 02 - 10:43 PM
Malcolm Douglas 10 Feb 02 - 10:59 PM
GUEST,Boab 11 Feb 02 - 01:10 AM
Steve Parkes 11 Feb 02 - 03:14 AM
InOBU 11 Feb 02 - 07:09 AM
Aidan Crossey 11 Feb 02 - 07:24 AM
Midchuck 11 Feb 02 - 08:14 AM
mack/misophist 11 Feb 02 - 10:49 AM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Feb 02 - 02:37 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Feb 02 - 08:51 PM
GUEST,Boab 12 Feb 02 - 01:33 AM
wysiwyg 12 Feb 02 - 09:37 AM
Ella who is Sooze 12 Feb 02 - 09:52 AM
Arbuthnot 12 Feb 02 - 07:48 PM
GUEST,Boab 13 Feb 02 - 12:57 AM
aussiebloke 13 Feb 02 - 10:33 PM
GUEST,Karina 14 Feb 02 - 11:10 AM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 14 Feb 02 - 11:27 AM
Dave Bryant 14 Feb 02 - 11:33 AM
McGrath of Harlow 14 Feb 02 - 11:44 AM
GUEST,Karina 14 Feb 02 - 12:02 PM
The Pooka 15 Feb 02 - 02:27 AM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Feb 02 - 05:17 AM
GUEST,JTT 15 Feb 02 - 06:54 AM
Peg 15 Feb 02 - 09:37 AM
GUEST,lisa 08 Sep 11 - 07:45 PM
Jim Carroll 08 Sep 11 - 08:17 PM
Jim Carroll 08 Sep 11 - 08:18 PM
BobKnight 09 Sep 11 - 05:19 AM
Vic Smith 09 Sep 11 - 05:57 AM
GUEST,JTT 09 Sep 11 - 06:00 AM
BobKnight 09 Sep 11 - 09:24 AM
GUEST 09 Sep 11 - 09:37 AM
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Subject: Gipsies v Travellers v Tinkers
From: GUEST,Geordie
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 09:11 PM

i am mixed up. Some people I know say that all these people are the same thing.Are they? if they arne't whats the difference? and is their music different as well? Geordie


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Subject: RE: Help: Gipsies v Travellers v Tinkers
From: Peg
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 10:43 PM

Tinkers is the name which refers to the travelling community in Ireland. You wouldn't call a gypsy from Bohemia a tinker. Travellers, or new age travellers, is the name given to those of this community in England. Gypsies is usually reserved for those from eastern European countries like Romania.

This is a fairly simplistic explanation but hopefully helpful.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gipsies v Travellers v Tinkers
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 10:59 PM

Over here (UK), Gypsies are Romany; Travellers and Tinkers are also (or used to be) nomadic, but have usually been here longer and are usually not Rom (others will disagree about that, particularly as "Travellers" has in recent years become used as a catch-all term for nomadic families regardless of their backgrounds).  "New Age" travellers are what used to be called "drop-outs", and are not related to the traditional travelling groups in any way, except perhaps by aspiration.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gipsies v Travellers v Tinkers
From: GUEST,Boab
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 01:10 AM

"Tinkers", in my long weary lifetime , have always been identified as those individuals and families which travel [travelled, more like---for they seem to be disappearing]around selling some handy skill [scissor and knife sharpening, whistle-making, basket-weaving, clothes-pag selling---and mending "pots an' pans an' paraffin lamps"]. They were found more frequently in the highlands and country areas, and may well have been the residue of dispossessed jacobite families in many cases. Romanies, or Gipsies, seemed more inclined to resale of manufactured items. Individual "tramps" were often called "gaberlunzie men", and mostly lived by selling their labour as the season dictated--haying--berry-picking--harvesting ,or herding..


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Subject: RE: Help: Gipsies v Travellers v Tinkers
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 03:14 AM

Calling people "tinkers" or "diddycois" is akin to calling people "wogs" when they don't come from Egypt, and in the UK it usually has the same underlying sentiment. "Travellers" is pc, but it also the correct name anyway. George Borrow, the famous 19th century smart-arse, spent some time with travelling people and concluded that the only discernable difference between Roms and gaujos (non-Roms) was that Roms consider hedgehogs to be edible. There's no such thing as an ethnic Romany today.

Steve (who's also spent soe tie with travelling people, though not as much as GB)


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Subject: RE: Help: Gipsies v Travellers v Tinkers
From: InOBU
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 07:09 AM

Sar San, Prale:
I have met Romanichales, ethnic Romanichals, who I believe you mean when you say Romany, Steve... who are Scottish and English Rom. They speak a language the root of which is Hindi, and like my mother's folks, Eastern European Roma, were once Rajaput from Inida who left India a thousand years ago. Nomadic Irish clans married into the Romanichales and became Pavees. Pavees are mistermed Tinkers, and Gypsies - usually seen by Pavees as a dergoitory term. Pavees in the US have stayed a culturally isolated community which still speak Scelta and interact often with Romanichales who still speak Romani (Romananichal Romani, not the same which I speak a bit of, which uses Persian sentence structure)
Some Pavees were Tinkers, a trade, In the US Pavees refer to themselves as Irish Travellers, and Romanichaels still refer to them selves as Romanichales. There has been some, but not much, Pan - Gypsuira meeting in the US in hopes of creating a unified Roma responce to discrimination which here is extreem, though not as deadly as the on going violent oppresion in Eastern Europe.
ROMA OPRE! Das baxtale
Larry


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Subject: RE: Help: Gipsies v Travellers v Tinkers
From: Aidan Crossey
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 07:24 AM

Read the following article, in which Paddy Keenan describes his upbringing and it may (hopefully) make you think twice about using any of the terms other than that which Paddy chooses to use when referring to himself ...

Click here


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Subject: RE: Help: Gipsies v Travellers v Tinkers
From: Midchuck
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 08:14 AM

I am a native American, but not a Native American....well, 1/128 or something like that.

I travel whenever I can, but I'm not a Traveler.

I have gay moods from time to time, but I'm not Gay.

Political correctness gets confusing as hell.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gipsies v Travellers v Tinkers
From: mack/misophist
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 10:49 AM

InOBU, speaking above, seems feriociously erudite but I believe he made one error. I remember the first announcements that the Romany language had been traced to it's roots. The root given was Uigur, which is not related to Hindi. Closer to Urdu, I think.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gipsies v Travellers v Tinkers
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 02:37 PM

Irdu and Hindi as I understand it are very closely related Indo-European languages. In fact, like Serbo-Croat they can be seen as essentially the same language, but divided by politics,and by two different ways of writing them.

The thing about this is that there are different groups of people who for various reasons have taken to the travelling life in different parts of the world. There've been the diaspora of the Roma from India over the past thousand years or so. The Pavee in Ireland have a different origin.

Every now and again other peopelhave been driven onto the roads - famine refugees, refugees from war, refugees from slums. And there have been people who have seen this way of life as better than the alternative open to them. The New Age Travellers were just one of the more recent examples of this process.

To some extent the common life and problems have led to mingling and and intermarriage, and sharing of cultures.

There isn't really a term to cover all these people. Travelling people is better than most - travelling does not define them, because often enough they aren't travelling. If they are it may because they are forced to; and if they are settled it may be because they are forced to. The form the persecution takes varies.

So whatever term you use, you use with courtesy, and with the willingness to use whatever term the people concerned prefer. I've found that where I live the term "gypsy traveller" tends to be preferred, because there has been so much hate stirred up against "New Age" travellers. But I'm sure it varies.

Incidentally I found when I looked it up a bit ago that "bloke" is a word from the Shelta language. It's good to think one of our most common words comes from there. (I know, I know, the Americans don't seem to use it. But I think most other English speaking people do.)


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Subject: RE: Help: Gipsies v Travellers v Tinkers
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 08:51 PM

That's Urdu, not Irdu. Not a mispelling, a rogue spellchecker that I didn't check.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gipsies v Travellers v Tinkers
From: GUEST,Boab
Date: 12 Feb 02 - 01:33 AM

Steve Parkes reckons that only gipsies consider hedgehogs to be edible? A wee ---true ---story;when we were kids, [reared in the country] any travelling group whetted our curiosity. So it was one day when we noted the presence of a group around a fire 'way up on the hillside, and perversely settled in the open grassland in spite of the proximity of sheltering woodland [with abundant firewood.] As was our wont, we raided Faither's potato patch and set off to visit. We were welcomed by a father and his son and daughter, a family from the Orkney Islands according to the man's story.They were travellers, and much of their living was derived from the ability of the man to manufacture whistles, clips etc.. from sheet metal.Tinkers, we called them in those pre-p.c. days. We were invited to stay and share a meal. All the potatoes were popped into a pot which was left to bubble away on the fire while we blathered. Finally, the pot was removed from the fire. To our surprise, the next move was to scrape the fire to an adjacent location, and to lift the scorched turf . There was a rare smell and a cloud of steam.The guy lifted something out which was caked in what looked like clay and wet leaves. When he broke it apart, two cooked animals were revealed. "That one", says he, "Is a rabbit." The other was a HEDGEHOG. And not only was it edible---it was delicious!


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Subject: RE: Help: Gipsies v Travellers v Tinkers
From: wysiwyg
Date: 12 Feb 02 - 09:37 AM

Don't shoot the messenger, OK, but a crime "family" called "The Travellers" has been getting attention.

In Florida, "In 1994, three Assistant Statewide Prosecutors were distinguished as experts in particular aspects of the criminal law. These fields of specialization are: the Prosecution of Gypsies, "Travellers", and Con Artists; DUI Prosecution Training; and Environmental Investigations and Prosecutions. The attorneys' expertise in the handling of these matters qualified them to teach at seminars attended by prosecutors and law enforcement agents from throughout the country. The Office served as co-sponsors for a Task Force Commanders Training School, conducted by the Institute for Intergovernmental Research and FIN/CEN, a federal investigative cooperative. The week long course consisted of lectures, group discussions, and planning sessions." (a href=http://legal.firn.edu/swp/annualreports/1994.html>EXECUTIVE SUMMARY, FL Atty General's Office, Office of Statewide Prosecution, 1994 Annual Report)

CANADIAN SCAM ALERT

HERE is a movie review about a story based on this premise. It ain't PC either, so be advised it will probably piss some of you off.

And IN AUSTRALIA....

But HERE is a more even-handed article...

How about U.S. TRAVELLERS speaking for themselves about these STEREOTYPES?

And apparently the stereotype is pretty widespread. Here's a SURVEY RESPONSE about racism, mentioning this: wiccawillow: There isn't a particular incident that stands out. I can say that I have never witnessed racism to black people. They are treated exactly the same where I live. In fact any racism that occured at any of the schools that I went to would not have been looked on approvingly by any of the white kids. Asian people receive some verbal dioscrimination but it's the gypsies/travellers that get the brunt of it. I can see why because here they have a knack for stealing, shouting obscenities and beating people up. I got chased with a machete by a gypsy when me and my friends made a little den near their camp. Of course I'm not stupid enough to believe that they are all like that but I can see why they have the reputation they have round here.

Further confusing the issue, one story mentioned that "The Travellers" (as in the scamming offshoots) pass themselves off as Romani.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Help: Gipsies v Travellers v Tinkers
From: Ella who is Sooze
Date: 12 Feb 02 - 09:52 AM

Apparantly my great great grandfather was a tinker from sligo. Now he ended coming over to the big island and decided to be static and continue working on what he was travelling around Ireland doing when he was a tinker over there.

He used to make saddles, sails, and tents and decided to make a living for himself in Kent.

Nowadays tinkers seems to have lost pretty much of its original meanings - for someone who went round and travelled selling their wares/skills/and crafts.

and that may be why it has lost some of its clarity for meaning... and may be why people are not clear. Uses of words and meanings change over the years... (As midchuck wuz saying)

As for musical differences, it probably (though this is my personal conclusion) depends on the social backgrounds, and origins of each family, and where they came from. Romany people could have a strong influence from their 'Bohemian countries' and 'tinkers' a strong irish influence. I think maybe it strongly depends on circumstances and is a hard one to clarify.

It certainly is for my family who are a big mix of Irish, French, Welsh and English.

I reckon InObu may offer a pretty good explanation.

Ella


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Subject: RE: Help: Gipsies v Travellers v Tinkers
From: Arbuthnot
Date: 12 Feb 02 - 07:48 PM

Once upon a time there were two distinct tribes of Gypsies, the Rom and the Zingar. The Rom were more numerous in Western Europe, the Zingaros in Eastern Europe. Either could be found in any place, however, but as time went on the Zingaros died out in Britain before the end of the 19th century. There are still gypsies in places like Hungary who are Zingaro. Gypsies in Britain used the word didichi (usually translated as little brother, but more properly rendered as little comrade) to describe a travelling person with whom they associated, who was not considered a true-bred gypsy. The word traveller can be applied to anyone with an itinerant lifestyle, so is a polite way of not offending people. Gypsies are proud of being gypsies, and do not like being called didichi, while to call a didichi a gypsy is inaccurate, and therefore insulting. It's rather like calling a Canadian an American. Tinkers were itinerant workers with metals, notably tin/solder, and would travel the countryside making, selling, and repairing pots and pans, and sharpening knives, etc.. Many gypsies possessed these skills and worked as tinkers, but not all tinkers were gypsies. Gypsy is a term used to describe a member of a race of people who are divided into two tribes, the Romany and the Zingary, just in the same way that Jew is a term used to describe a member of a race of people divided into two tribes, Judah and Israel. If you don't use a word accurately, the ignorance of its usage can make it an insult.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gipsies v Travellers v Tinkers
From: GUEST,Boab
Date: 13 Feb 02 - 12:57 AM

Just an aside; I had a trades mate once who had "traveller" connections. He used to tell me of a particular dialect or language much used by "travellers", particularly in the North of England [though probably much more widely. ] I regret I didn't learn more from him. He used to speak of "mangin the cant" [speaking the tongue].I found the travelling folk much associated with the "Royal Antedeluvian Order of Buffaloes"---known in some circles as "the poor man's freemasons".


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Subject: RE: Help: Gipsies v Travellers v Tinkers
From: aussiebloke
Date: 13 Feb 02 - 10:33 PM

Thread drift strikes.

Note to McGrath of Harlow

The word 'bloke' is, or at least was, in fairly common usage in Australia - "G'day bloke" is not an uncommon greeting, though young'uns are unlikely to use it.

One of our more famous 'blokes' was The Sentimental Bloke - written by C.J. Dennis around 1915.

An hilarious account of our hero discovering true love, written in the Aussie slanguage of the time.

Click here for the full text of The Sentimental Bloke

Click here for info about the 1919 movie of the same name

Cheers from the Aussiechap, errr - Aussiefellow - well, you get the idea...


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Subject: RE: Help: Gipsies v Travellers v Tinkers
From: GUEST,Karina
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 11:10 AM

Re a couple things on this thread: 1) The basis of Romany language - both Hindi and Sanskrit are considered the closest ancestral relatives of the Romany language base. This is part of the Indo-Iranian family of languages not the Indo-European (while the proto Indo-European can be considered the ancestral language family of Indo-Iranian). Ok that being said - I'm not sure about the Irdu/Urdu language previously mentioned. For further information regarding this subject I would suggest reading any of the late Angus Fraser's linguistical analyses on the subject. 2) The terms Tinkers and Travellers have been interchangeably mixed by those who see all wandering peoples in the same light. All Rom are usually considered Travellers. All Travellers are not considered Rom. I also agree with one of the previous posters that Tinkers are generally an Irish term for those who have been the pot menders, ferrier's, general travelling salesmen. Tinkers were prevalent in both Ireland and England before the Rom actually made it there. 3) Specifically to Arbuthnot; I am very interested in your statement about 2 Rom tribes of the Rom and the Zingar. Would you mind sending me any references to that? (billing@pipcom.com) Zingar and especially Zinganos is very close to the Zigeuner (German), Tsiganes (French), Zingari (Italian), Czigan (Hungarian - term now equates to an insult) etc names given to Rom by Gadje. This is attributed to have stemmed from the Greek term Atsinganoi in Byzantine times.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gipsies v Travellers v Tinkers
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 11:27 AM

Romany-English Dictionary Here
There is a large Romany community in New York.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gipsies v Travellers v Tinkers
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 11:33 AM

In McColls "Travelling People" there is a song called "The Gypsy is a Gentleman" which debunks the myth that travellers of pure Romany descent are much more honourable and don't bother "normal" people in the way that "diddycois" and other travelling "gaujos" do.

In the past travellers, of all kinds were a necessity, providing seasonal labour in both agriculture and industry. Tinkers (in England the word tends to mean tinsmith) kept "your pots and pans in the finest of fettle" - things had to last in those days. And Pedlars travelled around with a variety of goods that probably weren't easily obtainable in many areas. With a mainly static population, very little affordable transport, no mail-order catalogues (at least until mail became generally available in the Victorian era) the traveller was needed.

It would also have been the travellers who distributed songs and music.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gipsies v Travellers v Tinkers
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 11:44 AM

I think if you check, Urdu and Hindi Karina, are really the same language, but sooken by different ethnic groups who used a different system of writing. "Same language" may be exaggerated, since you get linguistic drift which goes wiuth the political and the cultural division. But mutually comprehensible.

I've always unbderstood "tinker" as being a term for a trade, that of tinsmith - a bit as if it had become customary to call Jews "tailors" because at one time it was common among the Jewish community. Whether the word has any connection with Zingari I don't know.

"All Rom are usually considered Travellers." Well, there have been Rom communities which have been settled for a long time. Keeping on the move can reflect a preference for a non settled life, but it can also be a consequence of persecution, and a way of avoiding it on a day to day basis.

A book that's worth reading (and like a lot of books I recommend it is out of print) is "The Destiny of Europe's Gypsies" by Donald Kenrick and Grattan Puxon, published 1972 (ISBN 0 435 82192), which tells the story of the genocide of Rom and other travellig people, which peaked under the Nazis, but started long before, and in a real sense has never stopped.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gipsies v Travellers v Tinkers
From: GUEST,Karina
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 12:02 PM

Thanks McGrath although with regards to Urdu, its likely a dialect of as opposed to the same language - if you understand my distinction. While Mr. Fraser doesn't specify Urdu as one of the languages of similarity to Romany, he does reference G.A. Grierson's Linguistic Survey of India in 20 Vols - 1903-1928. Mr. Fraser speaks highly of this work as being a significant reference for the evaluation of the development of the Romany language for any of those who are willing to wade through all 20 volumes :)

I don't think that Tinker has any relation to Zingari. My main point with that comment was that it had previously been referred to here as being a 'separate tribe' from the Rom. I was questioning that as there are so many names for the Rom - including amongst themselves - that the distinction of 2 separate tribes doesn't quite fit into the history as I see it.

Thanks also to the reference to Kenrick and Puxon. I think I've actually come across this reference before but as most of my research is actually into early Rom history, I have not read much of the current histories - other than the Newsletter of the Gypsy Lore Society.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gipsies v Travellers v Tinkers
From: The Pooka
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 02:27 AM

This is an extremely erudite thread. Who knew? Well, YOU knew. But *I'm* sure learning a lot. This is why I joined the 'Cat (I'm newbie). Here all I knew was "Every tinker, rolling stone and gypsy rover" & all that sort of simplificated romanyticized sort of rot, eh wot? (And I never could figure out where Mick Jagger fit in there anyways) Real peoples with real multiple roots & histories & ethnicities & Baduns & Gooduns & crimes both committed and suffered. Thank you.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gypsies v Travellers v Tinkers
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 05:17 AM

If you get a chance to listen to the radio ballad opera for which Ewan McColl wrote the Travelling people it's worth doing - it's not romanticised, and nor is the song, especially when you hear it in the context it comes from, built out of the words of real people tellingbtheir stories. (And most of the series of McColl-Parker ballad operas have been issued on CD too. The Travelling People)


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Subject: RE: Help: Gipsies v Travellers v Tinkers
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 06:54 AM

Cant is a slang used by thieves, and including some terms that drifted in from the Romany language spoken by gypsies.

The Romany people are supposed to be a distinct racial group; they were called Egyptians because they supposedly came from Egypt, and this was shortened to Gypsies. But linguists and anthroplogists, I think, now say that they were probably a group who drifted west from India, because the Romany language is related to Indian languages, and their customs (things like never washing men's and women's clothing together or hanging them on the same line, and using different basins for washing clothes, vegetables and dishes) are Indian.

The travelling people, in Ireland anyway, were originally travelling craftsmen - whitesmiths (tinkers = tinsmiths), blacksmiths, spailpini (travelling labourours), hedge-school teachers, and so on. They had their own cant, a language called Shelta which shares characteristics with Old Irish, but often with words turned backwards. There's a Shelta vocabulary somewhere online if you google it.

It is now thought insulting to call travellers "tinkers", and indeed the word "traveller" in reference to them must be capitalised in Irish law; read the Irish Times online (www.ireland.com) and you'll see many stories about Travellers.

Oh, and it's thought that the travelling people either originated (unlikely, in my view) or were hugely added to during the Famine, when some one million people were disposessed and driven off their land.

There's a certain amount of debate about whether it's good for travellers to be seen as a distinct ethnic minority, or whether they'd do better if assimilated. My own view was the former and is now the latter; I think being placed in a disadvantaged minority and identified with it is always a marker for future disadvantage.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gipsies v Travellers v Tinkers
From: Peg
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 09:37 AM

I have also seen the Irish Travellers referred to in the news media as "the travelling community" for example, "the young woman was a member of the travelling community." This seems fairly respectful and is not a moniker but a descriptive way of seeing it.

Interesting about the British "wannabes" being what some would call "drop outs." I met and observed a LOT of these people during the solstice season two summers ago and some of them seemed way more authentic, somehow, than others; some had their caravans and their tightly-knit groups, and some were genuinely respectful of the environment, for example, and some were just as likely to scream drunkenly about "Stonehenge belongs to the people!" and then toss their lager cans on the sacred ground beneath their feet, or clamber on the stones adding more damage...I also saw a great many people who seemed to live on beer and cigarettes...(and various drugs as well)...looking at us like we had two heads when we wanted to have some food with our beer...The most shocking was the people who claimed to be travellers or pagan pilgrims travelling to sacred sites (Avebury and Glastonbury) and camping out and leaving their site absolutely covered in garbage...

It makes me curious to know how this particular community evolved...today's "hedge-hobos" as one friend refers to himself, do not apparently all share the same basic philosophy or respect for the earth...


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Subject: RE: Help: Gypsies v Travellers v Tinkers
From: GUEST,lisa
Date: 08 Sep 11 - 07:45 PM

They are not all the same most are just folks trying to keep there beliefs intact. There treatment is poor at best.Im an a US citizen an know a traveler so do not believe all that you read.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gypsies v Travellers v Tinkers
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Sep 11 - 08:17 PM

Probably the best thumbnail description from last week's British newspaper, The Times in a report on the savage intended eviction of hundreds from an ex rubbish tip in Essex later this month
Jim Carroll

"1,000 years of prejudice, hatred and distrust
There are few tales that begin in the Indian sub-continent and Irish marshlands during the first millennium after the birth of Christ and reach Basildon in Essex 1,000 years later.
In between there are travels through eastern Europe, Irish famines and Nazi killing camps. Then there are the prejudices, the disputes and the clashing of communities. The history of the 300,000-strong travelling communities, now encamped on 8,000-plus pitches in England, is complex.
First, there are the groupings: the Roma, who are believed to have emerged from Asia 1,000 years ago and to have split into the Romany of western Europe, the Domari of the Middle East and Eastern Europe and the Lomavren of Central Europe.
The Irish Travellers refer to themselves as Pavees and share a common language, Shelta. A study earlier this year provided DNA evidence that it is a distinct ethnic minority, which separated from the settled Irish community between 1,000 and 2,000 years ago. Previously, it was believed that they were landowners who took to the road during the Great Famine. In 2000, they were ruled to be a distinct ethnic group, while Gypsies gained this status in 1976.
Then there are the New Age travellers whose crusty roots lie in the hippy culture of the mid-20th century. One can also throw in a sprinkling of Scottish Travellers, with their own musical and linguistic traditions dating back to the 12th century, and the Travelling Showpeople who have entertained generations with their fairgrounds and circuses.
Gypsies were one of the ethnic groups targeted by the Nazis. At least 250,000 were killed in the Holocaust."


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Subject: RE: Help: Gypsies v Travellers v Tinkers
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Sep 11 - 08:18 PM

Probably the best thumbnail description from last week's British newspaper, The Times in a report on the savage intended eviction of hundreds from an ex rubbish tip in Essex later this month
Jim Carroll

"1,000 years of prejudice, hatred and distrust
There are few tales that begin in the Indian sub-continent and Irish marshlands during the first millennium after the birth of Christ and reach Basildon in Essex 1,000 years later.
In between there are travels through eastern Europe, Irish famines and Nazi killing camps. Then there are the prejudices, the disputes and the clashing of communities. The history of the 300,000-strong travelling communities, now encamped on 8,000-plus pitches in England, is complex.
First, there are the groupings: the Roma, who are believed to have emerged from Asia 1,000 years ago and to have split into the Romany of western Europe, the Domari of the Middle East and Eastern Europe and the Lomavren of Central Europe.
The Irish Travellers refer to themselves as Pavees and share a common language, Shelta. A study earlier this year provided DNA evidence that it is a distinct ethnic minority, which separated from the settled Irish community between 1,000 and 2,000 years ago. Previously, it was believed that they were landowners who took to the road during the Great Famine. In 2000, they were ruled to be a distinct ethnic group, while Gypsies gained this status in 1976.
Then there are the New Age travellers whose crusty roots lie in the hippy culture of the mid-20th century. One can also throw in a sprinkling of Scottish Travellers, with their own musical and linguistic traditions dating back to the 12th century, and the Travelling Showpeople who have entertained generations with their fairgrounds and circuses.
Gypsies were one of the ethnic groups targeted by the Nazis. At least 250,000 were killed in the Holocaust."


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Subject: RE: Help: Gypsies v Travellers v Tinkers
From: BobKnight
Date: 09 Sep 11 - 05:19 AM

It has become the norm for officialdom to refer to the travelling people as "Gypsy/Travellers," which seems to be the current pigeon-hole, for lumping them altogether under one "convenient" heading.

Travellers are not gypsies and vice versa. Most of the Scottish travellers are now "settled, at least for part of the year, but they are still very aware of their culture and background. They are stil travellers in their attitude and in their minds.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gypsies v Travellers v Tinkers
From: Vic Smith
Date: 09 Sep 11 - 05:57 AM

Surely the name Tinker refers to the fact that these people were workers in tin-plate and incredibly skilled at it from some of the artefacts that I have seen, including a fiddle with a nice sharp tone made from tin plate. They were also menders of pots and pans and had the reputation of trying to mend anything - even items that were beyond repair inevitably meaning that they got the reputation for botching some of their repair work - leading to the word 'tinkering' entering the language. Inevitably they had to visit people's homes to sharpen, mend and make metal objects so an itinerant life was inevitable for them. They operated mainly in rural areas in Scotland and Ireland where their visits were usually welcomed by "the country hantle".
I have heard it suggested that the Scots traveller/tinker group were a separate ethnic group descended from a Pictish metal-working caste. Given the millenial time that has passed, this seems unlikely to me but there would be stranger things in history than this.

What is certain is that the Scots traveller/tinker families have been by far the richest source and repository of Scots traditional oral culture - songs, stories, tunes, riddles, beliefs and followers of what is/was an environmentally sustainable way of life that did not strip the eath of its natural resources. Perhaps the finest source of this oral culture has been the extended family of the man who has written the previous posting in this thread, Bob Knight.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gypsies v Travellers v Tinkers
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 09 Sep 11 - 06:00 AM

The Travelling People in Ireland are said to be a combination of two groups: the wandering tradespeople - tinsmiths (known as tinkers or whitesmiths), horse traders and copers, etc; and the families evicted by landlords during the famine of the 1840-50s. In particular, the village of Rathkeale in Limerick is said to have suffered savage evictions, and I understand that many Travellers trace their origins to that place.

Traditionally living on the road, travelling from one accepted site - usually on the land of someone who was happy to have them camp there - to another, these people lived a marginal and precarious life during the 19th and 20th centuries.

By the time the 21st century came, their traditional trades had sunk into desuetude, and while they maintained the tradition of travelling, the reason for it disappeared. By now, travelling is a cause of deep disadvantage, as children are unable to attend the same school and have a regular education with proper tracing of their level of achievement.
But as Travellers are settling this is gradually changing, and the first Travellers are now graduating from university.

The situation of the travelling people (an lucht siúil - the walking folk - in Irish) is complicated by their own distancing from a society that often rejects them, and by the prejudice that they encounter.

Traveller society is also breaking up badly, with drugs, guns and types of crime never known becoming a factor. Their traditionally conservative society-within-a-society is now opening up, with good consequences and bad. In some 'halting sites', there is terrifying bullying of respectable people by criminals; Travellers who go to the police for help are unsure whether they will get help or get into deeper trouble.


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Subject: RE: Help: Gypsies v Travellers v Tinkers
From: BobKnight
Date: 09 Sep 11 - 09:24 AM

Thanks Vic. :)


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Subject: RE: Help: Gypsies v Travellers v Tinkers
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Sep 11 - 09:37 AM

"Oh, and it's thought that the travelling people either originated (unlikely, in my view) or were hugely added to during the Famine, when some one million people were disposessed and driven off their land. "

A recent RTE TV programme, in which some Irish Travellers volunteered to have their DNA analysed, suggested that they have been genetically distinct from the broader population of Ireland for (I think) several hundred or even thousands of years.


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