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EDITORIAL

EPIFANIO RECOMMENDS

PEOPLE AND SPACE
Polina Tšerkassova

A FAIRY-TALE ABOUT HOW THE GYPSIES WENT OUT TO THE WORLD
Polina Tcherkassova

FAIRY-TALE OF A GYPSY WEDDING
Polina Tcherkassova

THE MYSTERY OF TEACHING
Vilen Künnapu

ON SPACE AND SPATIALITY
Maija Rudovska

HARRY PYE'S POSTCARD FROM LONDON
Harry Pye

UNDER YOUR CONCRETE DOMES, MY BELOVED TOWN
Jan Kaus

RUIN ACADEMY
Marco Casagrande

TEAM

A fairy-tale about how the Gypsies went out to the world

This story happened a long long time ago, so long ago that none of us remembers it exactly. There was a Gypsy travelling the world with his family. His horse was weak and weary, but the wagon was full of treasures. His family was really big; a whole bunch of children and a horse to feed. How do you maintain such a family and make hay for the horse?

Such was the Gypsy's lamentable journey. He never let anyone except the smallest of children to sit on the wagon, for the horse would have collapsed under the heavy burden. The wagon got heavier and wider as the treasure and children grew, and the wheels started to fall apart.

Mustlasperekond / A Gypsy family

The wagon got dangerously unbalanced, slopping to one side and the other, wiggly-wobbly down the road. So it happened that every now and then a pot or a bare-footed child fell off the wagon. In daylight everything was picked up, no problem. But when the night fell, how could one look after everything? How do you keep an eye on all your children, when there are uncountably many?

Thus it came about that once in a while a child was left behind. But the Gypsy continued onward with his horse, the wagon and his large family, on and on. Walking through the whole world, and leaving children behind wherever he went. That is why there are Gypsies everywhere you go.

 

Fairy-tale of a Gypsy wedding

Once upon a time a large flock of Gypsies made a stop at a mountain foot, set up their colourful tents, and let their horses lull on the meadow. There were three maidens in the group, ready to get married, and their parents wanted to find the best mates for the girls. So they went to baró, the leader of their tribe, who was a wise and respected Gypsy.

Baró called for all the young unmarried men and picked three of the most notable ones, telling them to go and make a journey behind a mountain and come back with something they consider most necessary in life. So the three men went, each by their own path. But the Gypsy caravan got busy preparing for the magnificent weddings.
On the third day the three young men came back to baró.

− "Let us see, romalé, what have you brought along! What do you consider most necessary in life?" ordered baró.
The first of young lads took out a large chunk of gold from his bag and handed it to baró.

− "I see that you have not wasted your time, but have brought back a dignified gift for your bride," said baró. "You get the wealthiest of the girls."

The other young man delivered a huge deer with royal antlers.

− "I see that your family will never bare hunger," said baró. "You get the biggest of the girls."

Then he turned to the third young man, whose sack was empty, and baró's face got gloomy – it had never happened before that a Gypsy wouldn't bring anything for his bride.

− "I have walked up and down the hill several times and seen many wonderful places," said the third lad. "But when I got to the top, there was the most beautiful flower I had ever seen."

And from under his coat he pulled out a delicate flower, in the light of which all the fires and colourful Gypsy clothes dimmed in comparison. To that, baró said:

"You see, romalé, this lad knows how to appreciate beauty! Let it be your destiny then, young man, you will betroth the most beautiful of our girls."

And thus there were three weddings, lasting for three days; and when all the songs were sung and all the fires gone out, they settled on the road again at the dawn of the fourth day.

Gypsy dance. Granada, 1949. Photos: Dmitri Kessel

Written down by Polina Tcherkassova
is an anthropologist and musician. She also collects fairytales and is a storyteller.