The children of Irish Gypsies who grew up too earlyBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/en/article/the-children-of-irish-gypsies-who-grew-up-too-early
These stunning black-and—white images are an opportunity to look into the lives of the children of Irish travelers — a modern nomadic community that calls itself Pavey, and others call them Irish gypsies. Photographer Jamie Johnson gained access to an exceptionally secluded and gated community at the Ballinasloe Horse Fair last October.
A girl smoking a toy cigarette, a teenager brandishing a machete, a boy aiming a plastic gun — these shots show free and carefree wandering children. Having lived next to the Irish gypsies, the photographer says that they seemed to her very proud people who are strong in their faith and devoted to their family.
The photos reveal the peculiarities of the family life of Irish nomads: touching shots where a child is bathed in a basin, a mother posing with her three daughters, a brother and sister looking out of a van.
About 25 thousand nomads live in Ireland. Their history in culture dates back to the era before the appearance of the Celts. Representatives of the community from all over the country and from other European countries come to the fair to sell puppies and horses. The fair is also an opportunity for teenagers to meet their future spouses. In one of the photos, two girls carefully apply makeup to each other in order to be on top if they suddenly meet future husbands.
"They hope to find good husbands for their daughters within the community to continue the nomadic traditions. This sincere, generous and family—oriented community is looking for a better life for its children and has high hopes for their community," says the photographer.
Jamie Johnson gradually got to know these families, gaining their trust with a lot of smiles. She went shopping with women and played with children, even letting them touch her expensive photographic equipment. "The community tries to continue the culture of their families through generations, telling wonderful fairy tales of their grandparents. They strive for equality and hope that the next generation will get rid of the terrible bias with which their generation is treated," says the photographer.
The Pavies also live in the UK and the USA. Their native language is Shelta, but they also speak English. The question of the origin of this ethnic group is controversial, but there is evidence indicating that the Pavies lived in Ireland before the Middle Ages. The Russian audience probably remembers them from the films "Big Jackpot" and "Chocolate". In the first, Brad Pitt's hero is Pavey, not Roma.