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What is authentic Gipsy in arts from Gipsies themselves ?

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Joined : 2017-06-09

PostLizzy on 10th November 2017, 23:42

It's quite interesting to know about this. Because most of us commonly think that Gipsies are only known forflamenco in Spain, we'd forget about much older, almost Ancient (before our era) Gipsy artistic vocations.

First off, in some spiritual old scriptures (even the Old Testament of the Bible), very beautiful female dancers are very often described as servants for the high society, a royal court. If transposed in a written text today, those female dancers might be described as Gipsy women. Because definitely YES, the most far away ancestors of Gipsies before our era were dancers (mostly women), however not "free". As dancers they were servants, as so to say owned by a family of the high society to serve.

In those ancient time days, serving was either for housekeeping, household, taking care of children, or depending on beauty criteria, in some countries, for dance performances during festivities. In fact, there's a long and very old dancing tradition which is actually Gipsy based and typically Gipsy. Female dance performers, still today in the Gipsy community, would rarely play an instrument at the same time, or sing at the same time. Some other Gipsy women would sing or it might be Gipsy men singing and other Gipsy men playing instruments. Again, a Gipsy woman rarely plays an instrument for a totally Gipsy styled performance. In Ancient times, it was also mainly men who played instruments - rarely women.

Also, still today in the Gipsy community, a woman tempted by a career as a singer might be warned by her family and community : epscially Gipsy women wouldn't be allowed easily to get involved in a SOLO singing carrer, because it's believed that in some way she would sell her sould to the devil, get into many temptations which would little by little take her away from her family and the Gipsy community. In such a situation, a Gipsy woman is believed to become an easy pray for Gadjo people. So, still today, this belief is very important in the Gipsy community. A Gipsy woman should only sing with other Gipsy women to perform only something based on gipsy oral tradition. Only in this case is she allowed to sing. For dance performing, as this is a much older tradition, Gipsy women can perform for a non Gipsy audience, but with instrumental accompaniment performed ONLY by Gipsy men. It's true for flamenco still today, it's true for other performances from Central European countries. Dancing, singing, playing an instrument, are vocationally a family transmission from generation to generation. The Gipsy Kings in Southern France is a family tradition, some of them had mentors from the Gipsy community, like Manitas de Plata.

Another very very Gipsy artistic tradition is : oral story-telling performance. Story-telling is about performing in front of an audience the oral telling of a legend, or story, or a "fairy tale" (as we'd call them). This is truly authentic Gipsy and quite certainly originating from the Middle Ages, when at the same time Jews started to revive again their own oral tradition, what is known as the oral Torah. Gipsy sotry-telling occured at quite the same time in the Middle Ages.

Oral story-telling is so important for Gipsies, because for many centuries they were deprived of the capacity of writing, but there was an urgent need for them to keep on transmitting family stories, secrets about nature, plants for natural medicine, cooking recipes, some very old legends.

It's interesting to know as a fact that thanks to this long preserved tradition of oral story-telling, Gipsies and Jews got acquainted in Europe, often used to meet in order to share their stories, their beliefs and also ultimately to discover that they got authentic common points in the way of praising only one God (the God of Abraham, Iaac and Jacob : some Gipsies do precisely use this term, just like most Jews would, and this is how Gipsies, even if Christian, are totally different from otehr Christians who are Gadjo or still Goyim).

Tarot, before being a support for telling about the "future", is first a support for story-telling. It's an image book for Gipsies, who again for many many centuries couldn't write or read written material.

The most surprising thing is that some very skilled Gipsy story-tellers would be able to tell you as well about the exact origin of some fairy tales, known to us today. Gipsy story-tellers got a fabulous memory, it's mentazl work for them about archetypes, etc. Here's an example : the story of Cinderella. In fact it's not a European Occidental fairy tale : it takes us more thousands of years ago back to China. The true origins of the cinderella fairy tale is Chinese...

It's quite the same for a wide range of fairy tales which have been "revised" later, by Germans. Some tales known as by the Grimm brothers, are much older stories that were already known and told by Gipsies themselves in the Middle Ages ! And such tales are by no mean European-rooted. Many of them got their extremely old sources in Asia or even Persia. The Beauty and the Beast story is in fact the recycling of the oldest Gnosis legend ever known in all continents, also known in a tradition like Taoism. The oldest form of Gnosticism is known today as sharing common roots from Persia and India (Brahmanism). This is spepcifically known by Gipsies themselves, as their ancestors lived in Persia and/or India a very long time ago (as servants).

In ancient days, servants were by no mean people mistreated (as we might think). Some of them has specific vocations, also in Egypt and later in Greece : story-telling for entertainment was one of those vocations, as well, very appreciated indeed. Telling oral poetry, stories was a real art but reserved to some servants only. The story-telling, also including the telling of prophecies, is truly kept as a tradition by both Jews and Gipsies. The only difference is that Gipsies would still make their story-telling style more audible, understandable for all Pagans, Gadjo, Goyim, while Jews would more make the story-telling matching with the Torah, implying the knowledge of Hebrew and sometimes also guematria (the numerical value of Hebrew letters in the Jewish Mystical tradition also known as Kabbala). The oral tradition is "open" coming from Gipsies, while the oral tradition from Jews is made in order to make one discover the Torah (the sotry line from Genesis up to the Mosaic Laws, essentially).

Unlike Jews, Gipsies aren't truly keen on sharing a written support of their stories, legends. It's extremely difficult to find written material of Gipsy stories or even of their own version of the Bible. I once asked a Gipsy woman why that is, in the 90's. She got only one explanation for me, and it's very realistic and subject for meditation : "After what Jews endured over the centuries, as their Torah was stolen from them, Gipsies wouldn't like the same to happen for their own community. We unfortunately learned from our Jewish brothers, because they're our brothers. Do you remember what Jesus said ? Don't toss pearls to swines ? So we as Gipsies won't toss our pearls. Our own memory isn't short. Gadjo people's memory is short, they would even not remember well an oral story the day after we told them one. It's thanks to the oral tradition that an ethnic group survives, ony thanks to that, it's about family, community habits and codes, what determines us and will always make us different from other people who never travelled. When you travel, you can't have too many books in your luggage. But you still have the memory of what your parents told you about your ancestors and origins. We fear that as Gipsies we might be captives again somewhere : the risk is always here. We secretly live with that fear, it's why we can't find time for writing about ourselves. Might we disappear from the surface of the earth, all our traditions should as well disappear with us, without any trace. We aren't here to leave a heritage for the entire human kind. It isn't our fate at all. But after us, human kind will remember us : because in the future, many people will become nomads, might be forced to travel, seeking for a better horizon in another country than the one where they were born. There will be other captives after us. These times will come soon, they're very close in fact !"

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