Many questions are posed about these unique but tarnished individuals. What is an Irish Traveler? Why are they called Gypsies? How do they earn a living? Why are child marriages arraigned?
They sailed from their old country to expand into the territory (USA) we sometimes take for granted. Other than their European DNA, they have no known point of origin; they’re traditionally called “Gypsies,” “Roma,” or “Travelers.” Wise-tales can be traced back to the mid-1800’s; they’ve been depicted in Hollywood lore and their controversial lifestyle has flourished through the headlines of the years.
Tales of the traveler are scarce but do exist through folklore, eyewitness accounts, police records, & entertainment. A caravan of gypsies was not a rare site to see in the early 1900’s. The mystical powers of crystal ball readings & spiritual advice, usually given from an older lady or man; often cloaked in gems, jewelry, scarves & yes, the hat. Mystical powers were often advertised, but were they real?
Films such as Traveller (1997), starring Bill Paxton & Mark Walhberg as a pair of traveling Gypsies have added to the ongoing curiosity. In the film, they pull simple scams to lure in their victims. Scams are not only a part of the folklore that accompanies Irish Travelers, it’s their livelihood. The film, Snatch (2000), starring Brad Pitt as an Irishman, referred to as (Pikey) in the film — which is a derogatory term for a Traveler. Bare-knuckle boxing & scams run rampant throughout this movie, a European-take on the subject-matter. Thinner (1996), a product of Steven King, showcased the Gypsies as traveling fortune-tellers, casting curses upon their victims.
(scene from Traveller, starring Mark Wahlberg as an outcast of the gypsy outfit)
Shrouded in mystery, their lifestyle also provides an in-depth blueprint into the development of their morals. Child marriage is a common theme within the Travelers; often girls & boys – young as 12, are positioned into a marriage ceremony or engagements that align with the better good of the establishment. The largest settlement of Travelers can be found in Murphy Village, a compound located outside of North Augusta, South Carolina. They’ve recently been projected into the spotlight via the RICO ACT (Federal Fraud Charges) have been brought against 22 members of Murphy Village. Their pre-trial date is for November, 30th, 2016. Alleged sex crimes have also been at the forefront of a new investigation regarding children located in the Village.
Is this a modern-day conspiracy taking place against men & women with a different lifestyle, or is the conspiracy the Travelers themselves? Although these scams & others are often associated with Gypsies, not all practice this way of life. Many Gypsies marry a GORGER (Non-Gypsy), sometimes abandoning their way of life for a GORGER or vice versa.
Scams associated with the Travelers include…
This was a common theme during the early 1900’s. A traveling caravan would stop by nearby towns, associated with festivals or sideshows. The MAGICAL & ALL-SEEING GYPSY would tell your fortune. People with mental issues or grief-stricken were perfect victims (repeat customers). Parlor tricks & simple psychology were just the beginning, they would often rob the individual, robbing them of their horse or personal belongings, this was usually performed by an apprentice (a kid).
PAINT & GO
A group of men will arrive at a household (usually the elderly). They present themselves as workers from a nearby area who & have extra supplies; they’re willing to make a deal since they do not want the materials to go to waste. They offer to paint your house or spray your driveway (to fill in the cracks), only accepting cash. The materials they use are watered-down, outdated, & barely function-able. They leave the job unfinished – the after-effects cost the homeowner more money to fix the problem.
FRONT DOOR, BACK DOOR
A knock… then… another one. The man standing at your front door… you don’t recognize. They claim to be an insurance salesman and would like to have a chat with you about their new program, which guarantees acceptance for citizens over the age of 70. You’re not intrigued, but this interaction takes a total of 5 minutes, he’s quite the fella. You go back inside. The next day you notice misplaced items in your bedroom; your jewelry is missing. This takes place in rural areas of the south; the victims are home alone & have been scouted out for their vulnerability.
If you want to know more about the scams & interactions with Irish Travelers, I’ve included links to check out.
This is an official PROJECT ASTRAL article.
– Color Pessoa