Gitanos - Settlements

Virtually all Gitanos are now sedentary, and some proportion were sedentary at least as early as the first third of the seventeenth century. We know this because of the many laws and regulations extending from 1633 through 1783 that attempted to force Gitanos to leave the Gypsy quarters, or gitanerías, and disperse themselves among the general Population. We also know about early sedentarization from seventeenth- and eighteenth-century documents that variously describe Gitanos as nomadic, seminomadic, and entirely sedentary. We do not know, however, what proportion of Gitanos were sedentary or nomadic in any period before the late twentieth century, why or how sedentarization began Earlier among Gypsies in Spain than among Gypsies elsewhere in western Europe, nor why the process was so extensive in Spain. In the past Gitanos earned their living in cities or in metropolitan centers of the countryside, such as livestock fairs. Today almost all Gitanos are urban residents, and those few who live in villages are engaged in trades (and are mostly self-employed) rather than agriculture.

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