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Explore it with Playful Curiosity : A warrior woman follows her passion wherever it leads her.

This image of a Romani woman playing a guitar is dated 1933 in Granada, Spain. I was struck by her boldness and passion and could almost hear the bright clear flamenco notes ringing out.

The history of the Romani people is rich with legends of their love of freedom and myths about magic powers, passion for life, and loyalty to family and community. They are a people who migrated over some generations from their roots in Northern India throughout Europe and also to America. However, they continue to experience discrimination in many communities where they settled. Many Roma reject the name “Gypsy” because it has many negative associations. Due to marginalization, Romanies in many communities have not gained in the areas of education, income, and stability. Romani women continue to fight for inclusion in activist and feminist movements.

In Spain, Flamenco developed with significant influence of the Roma people who had settled there. An image of a woman playing the guitar stands out because as flamenco gained popularity in the mid 19th century, women were confined to being dancers and guitar became almost exclusively man’s world. More recently, Tocoaras are making a comeback as women again follow their passion and break into this male dominated field.

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