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Gypsy: 1940

Gypsy: 1940

May 1940. "Gypsy child on U.S. 13 five miles south of Salisbury, Maryland." Medium format acetate negative by Jack Delano. View full size.

 

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PRESTWOOD PINES.

Romani on Delmarva

My mom was born in 1935 about 15 miles south of Salisbury, Maryland (so not far from the photo). She used to tell me stories of Romani Travelers (or gypsies as she calls them - apologies as I think that may be a pejorative term). The Delmarva Peninsula in those days was quite rural, and according to her you would see bands of Romani in their wagons occasionally driving by their farm or camping outside the town of Pocomoke, Maryland. She would say they would read palms and sing and dance for entertainment. I must say she didn't seem to approve of those activities.

I was born in 1972 in Salisbury, and never saw any evidence of Romani, so I always took the stories with a grain of salt (as she would tell me not to wander for from home or the gypsies would get me). Evidently there were Romani on Delmarva after all. Would make an interesting research project to see their history in the area!

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