The Family Circle

Manfri Frederick Wood, a founding member of the Gypsy Council, and for many years its president, said that he had never met a Gypsy who had a hobby. The reason was that life itself is a hobby to the Rom. They believe in living life to its fullest, and in trying to take an intelligent interest in every job they do, they find there is no need to do anything just to “kill time.” As Wood says:

A Gaujo will go out for a walk or a drive merely for the sake of walking or driving – but a Gypsy won’t; he must have some reason for doing so; he is studying the lay of the land or the movements of the gamekeeper, or the habits of the game in the locality; or he is advertising the fact that he is in the area, where he is known and has a reputation for doing this, that, or the other job…

Even when he does appear to be at play – for instance singing and dancing, gambling, or doing a chop – it is with a view to something extra in the pocket.

The same holds true jfor the whole family. Even the children seldom play, in the strict sense of the word. They work along with the rest of the family. They may do basket work, peg-making, artificial flower making, wood carving or metal work; they may work with animals, or do dyeing, hedging, ditching, or perhaps dukkering (fortunetelling).

The family works as a unit. Boys will help their fathers with the horses and, from a very early age, will learn how to make deals. Girls similarly learn domestic chores from their mothers and also how to tell fortunes and work simple magick. There is a special closeness in a Romani family not found anywhere else.

Yet as with any family, there are times when the closeness is threatened. There are times when magick is needed, and used, to reinforce family ties.

From: Gypsy Love Magick by Raymond Buckland

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