Monday, April 18, 2011

O is For Outcasts

A-Z Blogging Challenge. Today is O. Theme is Flamenco.
O is for Outcasts

No one country has ever opened the door to the gypsies and said, "you are welcome here." Romania and Spain have the largest Gypsy population but they've been run out of every country they touched since they were expelled from India in the 14th century. They are sprinkled throughout the world. Even my dear Grandfather joined in expelling the Gypsies.

Here's the story they told me when I was growing up in South Dakota. It was during the Great Depression when I was still a baby that some wandering Gypsies were camped in my Grandfather's field. They came to the farm house, seeking help as one of their wagons was broken. My Grandfather said he could repair it and Grandma would give them food, if they promised to leave. Grandpa repaired the wagon in his blacksmith shop while Grandma packed food for them. True to their word, they left with gratitude. I had a passion for the Gypsy way of life even then, as I asked my Grandparents to repeat the story over and over. I begged for every teeny detail.

Throughout the years, they've been forced into chain gangs and condemed to Hitler's gas chambers in staggering numbers but the Gypsy spirit always remained unbroken through Flamenco as it developed into magnificent heights.

Carmen Amaya remains the "Best" in my book. Ever. Below a clip from "Los Tarantos."She shows the true Gypsy style.


  1. oh my! her feet, her fingers, her energy, her passion...gosh Manzanita you are truly introducing me to the most amazing (and so sad) world.

  2. Atemberaubend! Breathtaking!
    I've never seen anything like it.

  3. Wow!! What passion!! I love how the clip ended with such emotion!! Wonderful!! Thank you for this clip and for a fab tribute to a much misunderstood and persecuted culture! Take care

  4. Great series, Manzi!

    I have been following a selection of the A-Z's and yours is definitely tops!

    Talk to you soon!
    xoxoxo, cd

  5. Wow... did you see the dust she was kicking up. If we would all learn the Flamenco, we would not have to do any other exercise.

    I can remember when I was younger and working at a retail store. The local police station called all the stores and told them the gypsies were on their way into town.

    Our manager gathered us together and told us that they would get one of us busy while the others stole everything they could get their hands on.

    To this day, I can't remember if they even showed up.

  6. Wow..look at the dust fly...that was fierce and passionate.

  7. Such colorful, fascinating people! Did they encourage the "Egypt" myth of their origins to remain mysterious, or would no one listen to their corrections?

  8. Wow, that was really powerful, and so beautiful. Thanks for posting it!

    I really like your blog and want to give you the Stylish Blogger AWard because, well, I think you and your blog are. It's one of those "with strings" type of awards, which I know everyone isn't into....but, if you want it with no strings...well, I won't tell if you won't. lol You can get it here:

  9. Wow, I ever heard ( Even from Ancient Indian History) about the gypsies are expelled from India in 14the century. I felt very sorry, as an Indian. In my country so many people (from all over the world) are taken shelter and as well as ruled our country for 100s of year. And the greatest shock to me is that they are expelled from every part of the world and they are victims of Hitler.

    It is a very sad story and my eyes filled with tears. I am following your blog from now.

    Let me convey my heartfelt thanks for visiting my blog and following it.

    Again thanks for your valuable comments.

    With warm welcome to my blog,

  10. A great clip of passion in dance.

  11. Gypsies are fascinating, although I know little about them. Loved the video! She died so young.

  12. I want to dance now! Fantastic.

    It's so sad how the Romas are treated in Europe -- Britain has its own issues with what they call 'Irish travellers'.

  13. Bravo for Carmen! And bravo to you, Manzi, for educating us on the Gypsies and Flamenco. Ole!

  14. Stopped by from the A to Z Challenge. I'm a new follower!

  15. Several comments today. #1--The old woman's face in your photo shows such a hard life it brought tears to my eyes. #2--I am exhausted after watching the dance in today's video. #3--I am SO glad I found your blog (recommended by Canyon Living)--what a wonderful way to start my day! #4--You can't find my blog because I don't have one.

  16. What passion and energy! Thank you for sharing this with us, and for educating us about the gypsies.

  17. Sue : She was pure gypsy energy. She died from kidney failure. As long as danced and sweat, she expelled the toxins that her kidneys were meant to do (like dialysis) but when she retired and quit dancing.... no more sweating, her kidneys quit on her.
    Friko : Hope you're feeling well and energetic like Carmen.
    Old Kitty : I think I was a gypsy many times in past lives... How about you?
    Clare : Good to see you again. Are you really on your trip now?
    Terry ; Yeah, gypsies are thieves, pickpockets, scammers, but how can you blame them when they got kicked out of every country and no one would hire them (kinda like this economy Ha)
    mybaby john : I like that part. She's really smok"n to make that dust fly like that. :)

    Thank you. I really appreciate your comments and feedback. Manzanita

  18. Will : I'm not sure, many contradictions about then but probably the latter. To this day, many people don't realize they came from India. Thanks for stopping.
    Texwisgirl : She had energy galore. Thanks for being a follower.
    They Call Me Varmit : Thank you so much. I'll stop by..
    Gujjari : Thank you for dropping by. I appreciate your feedback and your sentiments. Bad things happen but I feel most people are basically good.
    Ann : It's great to see you and hearing about your Nashville trip.
    Laura : She had a kidney disease and expelled toxins through sweat when she danced. (like dialysis) but when she quit dancing and didn't sweat, her kidneys weren't expelling and it killed her. A tragedy.
    Talli : Their treatment and non-hiring for jobs has forced gypsies into crime. A shame.

    Thank you for your inspiring comments. Manzanita

  19. Su-sieee : Thanks my dear friend. Thank you for following my theme.
    Giggle Laugh Cry : Thank you for stopping. I'll be by your blog.
    Fishducky : I'm glad you told me you don't have a blog. Good idea :) They keep you busy... whewwww #1 The gypsies have lead such a hard life. #2 Actually, The sweating was what kept Carmen alive. #3 Thank you for following my blog. I appreciate your sincere and intelligent comments. And #4 I answered already. Adios for now
    Susan : I appreciate your sincere comments.

    Dear Bloggy Friends. thank you. Have a Happy O. Day. Manzanita

  20. Very interesting post. I learned something new, which is always good :)

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  21. wOW! tHIS WAS VERY INTERESTING...sorry for the caps; realized I'd pushed the CAPS LOCK button...anyway, I remember growing up and people referring to the gypsies and hearing of their stories and that is just something that was tucked away in the back of my mind.
    fascinating connection you have!

  22. I have an affinity for gypsies as well. My ancestors were from Hungary and I've always felt I had a gypsy spirit,

  23. The coolest bit was when she was dancing with her fingers and then her energy exploded out and she couldn't sit still any longer and just had to dance with her entire body.

  24. It may be a cliche but it's the only appropriate statement to make. It's about man's inhumanity to man. This is the time of the Jewish Passover and we remember when our people have been driven out of many lands. It's still happening to people all over the world today. When will we learn that we're all humans together?

  25. She was amazing to watch.

  26. I forgot to ask--are any instruments in addition to guitar ever used to accompany flamenco?