Gypsies Tramps and Thieves September 05, 2016 23:06
'May you wander over the face of the earth forever, never sleep twice in the same bed, never drink water twice from the same well and never cross the same river twice in a year.’
Referred to as 'The Goddess Worshippers’ because of their fascination with hindu goddess Madame Kali, 'Sara' as they call her, or the 'Black Virgin'. The Gypsies that span the world have been traced back to the northern provinces of India: the Punjab, the Indus Valley and Rajasthan. Contrary to the one time popular belief that gypsies once came from Egypt.
Although Kali is their spiritual leader, their preference is to be referred to as Romany. The word Roma and the Romany language comes from Sanskrit. Romany, Roma or Lom, Lomari or Dom, Domari meaning to 'resound' (from Sanskrit) fitting for a group whose culture is largely based on song and dance.
Tracing the movement that started more than a thousand years ago across Asia, the middle east and into the west is fascinating and its easy to see the impression they have made everywhere, in their flamboyant dress, wild and romantic music and of course the intricate and alluring dance.
Seeing these tribes moving through the streets in the holy cities of India It is indeed a most beautiful site to behold as is their dance, the Kalbelia if witnessed from the original Kalbelias Gypsies, the snake charmers and in conjunction with Bopa’s, the musicians and preferably at one of their own private gatherings.
Equally impressive is their adept and relaxed fearless approach to stealing the wild bee honey and Cobra venom, an art they have perfected over thousands of years.
In Rajasthan there live some of the most colourful and most beautifully dressed people I have ever seen and their influence on fashion is immense, the Gypsy look has most certainly been a sub culture fashion in the west for years and has been ever increasing in popularity since the 60s.
Most definitely there is an element of glamour about this traveller lifestyle and dress which inpires a continuous and ever increasing flow of westerners enamoured by their cheeky confident, carefree way, resplendent dress and body movement trying to emulate either the look or their behaviour. This makes for an interesting surge in creative new ideas, styles and mutations in fashion music and dance.
Perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of this fascination are the use of colours and clothing styles. Fashion boards now are crammed with boho photoshoots of stunning, rich colours, long flowing robes and heavily clad bejewelled fingers, wrists and necks displaying intricate and lavish pieces.
The influence on fashion is the most appealing thing to me, even children’s clothes are adorned with the tiniest of unusual details. The weaving, embroidery and colours lavishly poured into every aspect of this haphazard style, thus influencing and inspiring so many subcultures in the western world.
This garish and ostentatious dress style is not just relegated to the young either, all ages wear such stunning clothing and accessories ...enhancing their beauty and looking proud of their never ending self creation.
With so much influence coming from the source of this most inspiring movement, its a shame to see the way the European Romany Traveller has become now, with their modern caravans towed by brand new 4x4.s cars or white vans. Families dressed the same in Tee shirts and denims and piles of rubbish just abandoned on the beautiful green sites in and around the countryside, as the local authorities still refuse to provide for these travelling communities. Hardly, however are they living up to the grande fashion statement as they are in the east.
We support the tribal, nomadic and Gypsy sub cultures of this world and believe they have an outstanding affect on our creative inspiration, in Music, fashion or Dance. I just hope that these western Roma will see the importance of keeping up the colourful, mysterious and influential way of life as their eastern counterparts.