ROMA HISTORY: PORTRAIT OF A LITTLE PRINCESS

princess

This post cabinet card era photograph features a “little princess” bedecked with exotic jewels and headpiece. She is holding a fan and looks bedazzled by her experience of being photographed in her costume. That brings up a question. Is she playing “dress up” and wearing a costume or is she dressed in a way that is normal for her position and culture? Hopefully, some cabinet card gallery visitors will leave their opinion about this matter. Although the identity of this adorable little girl is unknown there is an inscription on the reverse of the image. The phrase “Photo. Roma” can mean countless things. Here is my opinion. The little girl in the photograph is a member of a Roma community. The Roma (Romani) people are an ethnic group living predominately in Europe and who originate from Northern India. However, it is estimated that there are about one million Roma in the United States. They are often known by the term “Gypsies” but many consider the term prejudiced as the word gypsy has become associated with meaning illegal or irregular (ie gypsy cab). This image is pretty and thought provoking. The photograph measures about 3 1/2″ x 5 1/4″ and my estimate is that it dates back to the 1920’s.

princess 1

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Published in: on November 12, 2015 at 12:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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