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Turkey: Deux chanteuses tziganes
Deux chanteuses tziganes
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type: postcard
width in cm:18.0
height in cm: 22.0
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In an old flemish manuscript gypsies were called 'Egyptenaaren' or gypten (egyptians). The gypsies have been around in Europe under various names like tsiganes, tziganes, gitans, rom, romani, manouches, zigueners, sinti. Many "gypsies" prefer to call themselves rom. Sinti is also the name of a tribe that original from Hindoustan.
The Zitti (or Sinti), a nomadic tribe leave the Punjab in the 5th century and travel to Pesjawar (now in Pakistan) and Kabul (Afganistan).

A few centuries later the Sinti left the north of the Indus. First crossing the Turkmenistan desert then migrating to the highlands of Persia and then to the lowlands of Mesopotamia.
It was on the borders of the Tigris and the Eufrates that the Zitti (sometimes also called nauché, refering to their Hindou origin) became one of the main attractions in the pubs owned by the Parsi or christian monks. Monks made wine and sold them to their guests; wine being forbidden to drink and produce by moslims. Dancers, singers and fluteplayers performed in those busy places.

Haroen ar-Rachid (786-809) visits regularly the house Ibrahim, his favourite musician and became one of the main characters of 'Arabian nights'. Haroun's strong affection to female artists favours the Baramikiden, the tribe of his grandwazir Jahja. Edward Lane writes that the gazeeyéh originate from this tribe.

Later on the Sinti move to Byzantium and further on to Greece, Romania and the rest of Europe. In 1419 they were signaled in France. Being creative musicians and performers they made a living going from place to place. The dances they performed were later banned by the church as they considered these vulgar and works of the devil.
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