This page is as much about an archetype in the western imagination as it is about a real-life
group of people. There is a surprisingly small correlation between the "gypsy" stereotype and the real group of people called the Roma. It should be noted that the term "gypsy" is just as derogatory to this real group of people as "nigger", "lapp", or "sioux" is to other real peoples.
Gypsy is only an accurate term to describe a fictional culture that never really existed outside the imagination of people who were never called that name.
This letter expresses the issue very well.
By blood, I am your average American "mutt", equal parts Irish and Austrian (Burgenland), not Rom. I am interested and sympathetic towards a number of oppressed cultures, but possess no first-hand knowledge.
The Roma: The Real "Gypsies"
Music and Dance
Role-Playing Gypsies and Poems and Lyrics about "Gypsies"
Copyright © 1998-2000 Joan Schraith Cole.
Updated March 30, 2000
copyright Walt Disney Company
gipsykonig.jpg is from the Gipsy Tarot Tsigane available from US Games Systems