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Gypsies
What is the gypsies' lifestyle?        Gypsies are a nomadic prople. They live in covered wagons and easy set up huts. They set up in a certain location for a few days near large communities in order to trade with the locals. They have incredibly fast set up / tear down times. They tend to travel in a caravan of five or six families each (20 - 40 people). Gypsies communicate between caravanss by well trained carrier crows. Some cultures have attached the labe of "witches" the the gypsies because of their relations with the crows. At set times of the year the gypsies of many caravans come toghether and hve big celebrations. As there are limited numbers of families in each caravan these festivals are also a time of courting and marriage for gypsies.
        The gypsies make their living mostly by trade. They do not like hard currency. Thus they tend to be adept at barter but they are not usually swindlers. They trade normal goods such as dull clothing , blankets, rope, tools and other material things that they make for good food.

What is their clothing like?

        Gypsies are a people of style. They do not have good taste, but they all have their individual style. A gypsie will normally dress in clothing that appeals to them, thus a great deal can be assumed about any one gypsie by his or her clothing. Since gypsies travel all over the place they are able to gather any sort of clothing they desire. This means that any individual may be dressed in fashions from many different cultures. For example a gypsie man may wear a sequined vest,  leather pants, sandles, and  huge foppish hat.

What is the gypsies' hierarchy?

 Gypsies consider anyone of the same age group as equals. A great deal of respect is payed to the elders of a group. There is no set leader but the eldest will often be turned to for guidance. The roles of men and women are very distinct but are equally important.

Age group and roles:

Babies (1-4): The role of babies is to survive to be youngins.

Youngins (4 -10): a lot of emphasis is put on the importance of play in gypsy society. Thus the children spend most of their time playing gypsy games that encourage the growth of strength and dexterity.

Lost ones (10 - 14): The gypsies beleive that this is the time in a persons life that should be devoted expanding the mind. They believe this because the bodies of human beings are so akward at this time in its devellopment that the children aren't capable of much else.
        Children are taught of gods and spirits and barter and the general, non physical, skills every gypsie should have. Also, the seperation between men and women first appears.  They are called lost ones because at this age they question what they have been taught as children and they have strange mood swings. Thus their soul is lost and is looking for truth and direction.

Midlins (14-18): The males go to town with their fathers to learn to barter. But more importantly they make up most of the hunting force of the gypsies.
        The females, stay at the caravans and learn to barter with their mothers as well as being in charge of making food preserves.

Adults (18 - 40): The younger men and women fall in love and get married. The men go to town and barter with the local merchants motly and are in charge of making tools. The men also tend to the horses.
        The women have the ever important job of having babies. They have also found that a woman tending a booth can make a better deal than a man, this is because the male townsfolk believe that the female gypsies are just dumb women. The gypsies use this miconception to their advantage.  The women also make clothing and blankets for trade.

Elders (40-60): The main role ofthe elders is to teach and care for the Litlins. The men also make weapons and pottery. The women help care for the babies and act as midwives and healers.

Great elders (60-death): These gypsies are looked upon with great respect as they have been granted long life by a god. They are looked to for advice and blessings for mariage. Also many of the men aquire a very acute weather sense and the women often become very empathic.

What kind of food do the gypsies eat?

        The gypsies do not keep livestock or grow crops. They are dependant on trade for their food. This means that gypsies eat whatever the locals make. This results in a very wide range in foods so the gypsies tend to get a much more ballanced diet than most people. This results in the gypsies, on average, being taller and more attractive than the average joe.
        Since gypsies can not grow their own food, they have become experts at making preserves. They make excellents pottery to store dried fruit in and they have the best salted meats in the world.

 How large are gypsy communities?

        Gypsie caravans range from 20-40 and usually consist of five or six families. A fesival time up to 1000 gypsies will gather in one area, but only for one week.

How common are gypsies?

        Gypsies are everywhere where there are large towns. The caravans travel in such a way that unless you are a gypsie, you can not find one on purpose. The festivals happen in an open location, fairly far from any normal settlements, usually arround the time of a solstice or equivalent.

Is there anything else about Gypsies?

        The gypsies believe in a mingling of deities of the Classical world.   They are not territorial nor terribly possesive. They do however attach a great deal of value to unique objects. Jewels are not unique.  Clockwork cats are.  They do not attach respect to material wealth, they prefer skills and the unusual.
        Some examples:
        A hero dressed in fine silks and cariying a large purse will be swindled.
        A hero who is a trained healer will be given a fair deal and possibly make a profit if his services are needed.
        A hero who can sing and dance and juggle would be invited to stay the night.
        A talking monkey would be cause for a feast in its honour.
        Gypsie women are beautiful. There are ugly ones but no one really notces them.
        Gypsies have a better understanding of mysticism than normal folk.
        They have a unique breed of pack horses that are unusually large and strong but not fast.
        They are friendly to travellers and orphans.