The Gypsy Shawl

Travelers Resting William Thayer (1787-1879)

Scottish Travellers Days

Jun 19

Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day

Today's Musings, History & Folklore

The Gypsy Shawl

The month of June marks Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month (GRTHM) to share the diversity, history, culture and language of Gypsy, Traveller and Roma communities, as well as other Travelling communities including Showmen and Boaters. 


The Romani in Europe were the first group widely known among English-speaking people by the exonym Gypsies (or Gipsies), which some people now consider a pejorative term.


Interestingly, this term has become a modern one for professional chorus dancers of Broadway musicals, who term themselves as ‘Gypsies.’

In the past, however, the term "tinker" was also used, when relating to Irish or Scottish gypsies.

Scottish Travellers, or the people in Scotland loosely termed gypsies or tinkers, consist of a number of diverse, unrelated communities that speak a variety of different languages and dialects that pertain to distinct customs, histories, and traditions. 


There are four distinct communities that identify themselves as Gypsies or Travellers in Scotland: Indigenous Highland Travellers; Funfair Travellers, or Showmen; Romanichals (a subgroup of the Romani people); and Lowland Gypsies.


For more on International Romani Day, click the portrait of Robert Hope's (1869-1936), "A Tinker Lass."

The Gypsy Shawl
The Gypsy Shawl

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