Culture & Memoir

The Church of Cheese

Carol Miller (Author)

Cover image for The Church of Cheese by Carol Miller

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The Church of Cheese

by Carol Miller

A disapora spread over five continents, Gypsies have yet to enter the American public consciousness, yet they have been arriving since the late sixteenth century. Columbus brought several, forcibly transported to the Colonies, and many Americans today may count, unknown, a Gypsy or two among their forebears.

A legacy of misfortune and mistrust lives on in Gypsy blood, and glimpses into their lives are rare. From 1966 to 2000 Carol Miller, drawn in by a Gypsy matriarch, lived among the Machvaia during their Heyday. Here are her stories about creating a bounty of good luck made by good times: three-day weddings, opulent slavi (saint days), baptisms, holidays, parties, and fabulous offerings for the Dead Ones. From Baby Steve and Alice to Big Smith, from Pretty Bobby, Old Kaboka and Puro Bahto, from Julie and Jelly John to Luludj, Mek and the inimitable Lola, “The Heyday,” this particular Heyday, is done, and we will not see its like again.

About the Author

Carol Miller is an anthropologist who has studied the Machvaia Roma of California. She lives in Seattle.