Saturday, May 12, 2018

GYPSIES, TRAMPS, AND THIEVES: Cultural appropriation?

by Parris Afton Bonds

Cultural appropriation? Irish Travellers are not Roma Gypsies
By MoHurley on May 12, 2018

I guess I'm a little more than concerned that Irish Travelers, who are NOT, I repeat, NOT Roma, in any way, shape or form, are conflated into this story.

There are a handful of Roma people in Ireland, it's a recent migration, but we're talking less than 3000 people in all of Ireland, in 2004, it was 1700 Roma.

The real Irish Travelers, formerly called Tinkers, probably date back to Neolithic times. But they are Irish. Today there are about 40,000 Travellers in Ireland. There is some thought that they arose as a distinct class of people during the Cromwellian, or during the Famine. Some Irish Travellers immigrated to Scotland, as well as America. Eddie Izzard portrays an American Irish Traveller grifter in "The Riches."

Irish Travellers are NOT Roma. Recent DNA analysis has proven this beyond a doubt. It's bad enough that Irish cobb horses are now called Gypsy vanners, and this latest conflation will only serve to further confuse people. Cultural appropriation at its worst. Just don't.

The author writes: "True gypsies, Romany folk and Irish Travellers, were adept at storytelling. For a thousand years, although most of the Gypsy clans could neither read no write, they had kept historical records of their odyssey by word of mouth." Bonds conflates Roma with Travellers. She couldn't be more wrong. She makes no attempt to untangle the two distinctly genetically different peoples. Being itinerant does not make them gypsies.

"The [DNA] study clearly showed there was no significant genetic contribution made by Roma Gypsies to Traveller DNA. This disproves a view held by some that the two groups were genetically related." —Irish TImes

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