Nationality: Mexican, Portuguese, Roma, Gypsy
Occupation: Real Estate
Residence: Venice Beach, California
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/24/2012
Primary Language: English
My informant learned this from her parents when she was a child. It is the origins of the Roma people
“The oldest stories come from Egypt. Gitano is how they say gypsy in Spain, so Gitano like hyptano. Like Egyptian. They say that on the outskirts of Egypt there lived the mystery people. They had the knowledge of the past and future and could cure people. They would be called in by the pharaoh if he needed soothsayers….so the Roma people became very powerful in the land. And people got jealous and so they drove them out into the desert and they continue to wander and continue to be a nomadic people.”
My informant believes that this is a very important story because the Roma people are nomadic and so it is important to know where they came from.
It is very important for this group to know where they come from, especially since they have been so split up over the centuries. Nation states do not take kindly to nomadic people who wander over their borders and so the Roma people need to be strong in their identity. This story also allows them to have always been outsiders with mysterious powers. It’s very empowering for a people to know that they had all of this power before and could continue to use it.