- The Romanies were never cattle-raising nomads who moved from place to place with their flocks. Many of them were, however, industrial nomads (sometimes termed "peripatetics") who traveled from place to place practicing their crafts, whether they were smiths, acrobats, or fortune-tellers. The word Gypsy has become a synonym for nomad in western Europe. However, it is not certain that all Gypsies were nomadic by choice in the past. The Gypsies of Modon, for example, lived in a settlement and worked as shoemakers for several generations until the Turkish occupation of the town. Often Gypsies moved because they were forced to do so. Nomadism was almost impossible during World War II, and afterward many countries in Eastern Europe banned nomadism. In western Europe it became more difficult to travel as land became scarce. At present, it is doubtful that more than 10 percent of European Romanies are nomads.
Historical dictionary of the Gypsies . Donald Kenrick.
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