Art Prints

Manitas de Plata (1921-2014) or Little Silver Hands

The definition of gypsy (considered pejorative) states that it means to be a member of a traveling people, the Romany or Rom, traditionally living by itinerant trade and fortune telling. Gypsies speak a language (Romany) that is related to Hindi and are believed to have originated in South Asia. Theirs is a culture we may or may not agree with. Their lifestyle differs greatly from ours. They seem to love the freedom of the road, the freedom of being. But is that really who they are? They are from a culture often misunderstood and shunned or pushed back by many. Often all the way to a national level. And yet, their history is rich, diverse and omnipresent.

Frequently we despise someone or something because we do not understand. For lack of knowledge, certain people, groups of people may be ostracized, herded and forced to live on the outskirts of society. I believe that to be an erroneous attitude. I like to keep an open mind and absorb what the world has to offer. Romany music is such a thing. It is – well simply – exhilarating, sad, romantic, passionate. One can feel immeasurable passion in any impromptu performance. Fascinating really.

Roma music –because that is what I will be talking about today—has had a tremendous influence