Hidden World of Traveller Girls | WBEZ
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Fugitive Waves

Hidden World of Traveller Girls

Stories of young Irish Traveller women. Travellers—the people of walking. Sometimes called the gypsies of Ireland. They speak of non-Travellers as “the settled people.” Mistrusted for the most part and not well-understood, Travellers historically have lived as nomads, moving in caravans, living in encampments on the side of the road.

We go to Hazel Hill Halting site, a government experiment in Traveller housing on the lower slopes of Dublin Mountains to talk with Helen Connors and Shirley Martin. We visit a “settled” woman and her daughter who design elaborate Traveller wedding gowns. We travel to Cahirmee Horse Fair in County Cork where young girls, with long hair spilling, parade and marriages are made. We listen to these young women, and their stories and explore some of the ancient and modern Traveller rituals clinging on the edge of the Celtic Boom.

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