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York Travellers Trust Twitter Takeover

York Travellers Trust will be taking over York Castle Museums Twitter page this Thursday (18th June), with some exciting videos and images showcasing their culture and heritage.


Did you know?  

The Gypsy and Traveller community is York’s oldest, and until very recently largest, minority ethnic group with an estimated 1300 Gypsy and Traveller people living in York and the surrounding areas.  

Romani Gypsies originate from Northern India. They first migrated to Europe sometime between 800 and 950 AD and travelled through Egypt. They were mistakenly assumed to be ‘Egyptian’ hence the origins of the word Gypsy.  

Romani Gypsies were victims of the global slave trade. Throughout the 18th century many Romani children were abducted and sold into forced labour and slavery. 

The main language spoken by Gypsies is Rumness. It is an ancient form of Sanskript and is traditionally a spoken, not written, language. 

Irish Travellers, Romani Gypsies and Scottish Gypsy Travellers are all distinct ethnic groups recognised under the Race Relation Act.  

Traditional jobs in the GT community included horse dealing, wickerwork, story telling and agricultural work. Today many G&T people are self employed and continue to work practical jobs. 

Some of England’s first recyclers were Gypsy and Traveller people. The dealing of scrap metal continues to be a popular job for G&T people today.   

Romani people were marked as the lowest category of racial hierarchy by the Nazi party. At least 220,000 Romani people were killed during the holocaust but some scholars predict it could have been as many as 1,500,000. 

Showmen began to become separate from other Travellers and Gypsies in the late 19th century when the Showmen’s Guild formed. They continue to run fairgrounds today. 

A number of words are unmentionable or seen as bad luck in the GT community, mainly as a result of traditions and folk law. Therefore alternative words or phrases will be used instead e.g. ‘long-tail’ for rat or ‘the bad thing’ for cancer.