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Gypsies&Skomorokhi in Central/Eastern Europe

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  • Alberta
    Hello list members, I have a couple of questions for the group. I have tried to find the answers on my own, but I think I just don t know yet where to look.
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 3, 2003
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      Hello list members,

      I have a couple of questions for the group. I have tried to find the answers on my own, but I think I just don't know yet where to look. Assistance in this area is appreciated. ;)

      The first question is this; Does anyone know when Gypsies were first known to have lived in the Slavic countries, particularly what was known as Bohemia?

      My second question is this; Does anyone if traveling performers known as the skomorokhi ever ventured into Central Europe, or did they work exclusively in the Eastern European countries?

      Something I find of interest is the fact that both the Skomorokhi and the Gypsies traveled about and worked as performers, and both groups were along the lower end of the social strata, and as such, both were looked down upon and condemned by the church and local governments for many similar reasons.

      While I know it most likely cannot be proven one way or the other, I do wonder if the Skomorokhi and the Gypsies ever interacted...or were they mutually exclusive?

      By the way, I ask these questions as research for a play that I am writing, I am not attempting to write a fact-based research paper.

      ~Alberta


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    • Elizabeth Lear
      ... FYI, Skomorokhi did not reach this low status until the 1600s. I don t have info on the two groups interacting, but my article on Skomorokhi is on the web
      Message 2 of 3 , Jan 3, 2003
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        On Fri, Jan 03, 2003 at 12:37:49PM -0800, Alberta wrote:
        >both groups were along the lower end of the social strata, and as such,
        >both were looked down upon and condemned by the church and local
        >governments for many similar reasons.

        FYI, Skomorokhi did not reach this low status until the 1600s.

        I don't have info on the two groups interacting, but my article on
        Skomorokhi is on the web if you want more info on them. It's at
        http://indra.com/~eliz/SCA/skomorokhi2.txt

        I have more research to add to the article, but it's on my list of
        things to do and hasn't risen to the top yet.

        -Yelizaveta
      • MHoll@aol.com
        In a message dated 1/3/2003 3:23:24 PM Central Standard Time, ... I can t give any facts and figures here, but it s always the case: in a sedentary society,
        Message 3 of 3 , Jan 3, 2003
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          In a message dated 1/3/2003 3:23:24 PM Central Standard Time,
          jadedusoleil@... writes:

          > Something I find of interest is the fact that both the Skomorokhi and the
          > Gypsies traveled about and worked as performers, and both groups were along
          > the lower end of the social strata, and as such, both were looked down upon
          > and condemned by the church and local governments for many similar reasons.

          I can't give any facts and figures here, but it's always the case: in a
          sedentary society, those living a nomadic lifestyle will be considered to be
          at the bottom of the ladder. Same goes for the Irish Travellers.

          An exception were the trouveres and troubadours -- but they were more like
          itinerant stars, and they brought news of the settled world -- they were part
          of mainstream society, they had their place and lived by the "normal" rules.

          > While I know it most likely cannot be proven one way or the other, I do
          > wonder if the Skomorokhi and the Gypsies ever interacted...or were they
          > mutually exclusive?

          The skomorokhi were performers. The Gypsies are a people. I don't think they
          were mutually exclusive, but they were different groups. If the skomorokhi
          were non-Gypsy, then in all likelihood the Gypsies wouldn't have allowed them
          into their society as a rule.

          I don't subscribe to the Andrei Rublev-the-movie theory that the skomorokhi
          were always persecuted, or that they represented some kind of
          proto-revolutionary, political-satyrist group. They were performers, and
          while there was probably some persecution at some point (remember the time
          frame we're dealing with: someone persecuting someone else was a fact of
          life), I tend to believe that they simply faded away/died out as their brand
          of performace stopped being so popular.

          Just my opinion.

          Predslava.


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