In a message dated 1/3/2003 3:23:24 PM Central Standard Time,
> 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.
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