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  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

The Question (ID Number 532)...

    After having read your book "My Ishmael" and "Beyond Civilization", I am intrigued about the idea of making a living tribally. I did some research and found out about the band "The Gypsy Kings". They apparently have an estate where all of their families live together and take care of each other and school is looked at like this: If you don''t go, fine, but you have to do something here to support our families. If you do go to school, then the kids are encouraged to learn about things that will help the band ( law, business ). Is this an example of tribal living? And ,of course, the band is multi-generational. Cool, huh?

    ...and the response:

    Very cool. The Gipsy Kings (for some reason they seem to prefer "Gipsy" for their name even though they use the other spelling when they're talking about gypsies on their website) are certainly living tribally--but then they really are gypsies, and gypsies have always lived tribally. They've successfully adapted the gypsy tribal style to the American scene, with a permanent settlement instead of being primarily nomadic. Tribalism is a hard sell for Americans, who are used to playing the game of life with "everyone for himself" and "Trust no one." The gypsies know that "everyone for the tribe" really works well; they don't need to be sold on it, the way Americans do.


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