posted on Nov, 15 2008 @ 04:10 PM
Interesting-- I had no idea there was a Traveller colony in GA/SC!!
As an Irishman, I can tell you what I know. The so-called Irish Traveller class (AKA tinkers, itinerants, and many derogatory names) is something of a
stain on the Irish psyche, because this demographically significant group suffers extreme social exclusion. As a group, they live shorter lives,
endure shabby living conditions, are under-educated, find it difficult to get jobs, and are generally shunned socially here by 'settled' people.
They don't seem to be gypsies in the conventional sense: that is to say, they are apparently not descended from the Egyptian gypsies that are said to
have come to Europe with the Moorish invasion of Spain. Irish travellers should not be confused with the Romanie.
The theory I have heard most often regarding the Travellers' roots is that they were a group of small croppers who were displaced at the time of the
Irish Famine (1840's). Landless, they took to wandering and scavenging, and never returned to the settled life. The tin-fixing skill was once the
preserve of the Travellers (AKA Tinkers), and Tinkers are said to have roamed the country fixing people's pots and pans, implements and so on. But
with the advent of mass-production, sadly the commercial viability of this skill waned.
The stereotypical Traveller will marry young, have a very large family, be very religious (Catholic, obviously), and 'enjoy a drink'. They have a
distinctive accent and a very strong sense of community amongst themselves.
Brad Pitt played a 'Pikey' in the film Snatch-- he did a decent job with the accent and mannerisms too, I have to say.
[edit on 15-11-2008 by eniac]