THE TZIGANIA PROJECT

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TZIGANIA STORE - PROFILES




DressmakersDressmakers


Klara and son

Klara-Khani

    Our dear Klara Khani  belongs to the "Cokanoso" clan (Gabor with Hammer), the tradesmen class of traditional Roma society, or what is more closely associated in western social standards as “middle class”.

  Klara, dubbed the “rebel in a gypsy dress for her emancipated views and a strong will-power within the patriarchal Roma society where women endure a doubly discriminated life firstly by the majority for their ethnicity and secondly, within the Roma society, for their gender.

Klara at work

 Klara, a rebel by nature, caged within the restrictive laws of the male dominated Roma society, finds her own sense of independence through a strong intellect that speaks four languages fluently, including computer – and takes care of business with an entrepreneurial genius.

 Our project began the formidable search for a Roma seamstress back in 2012 – and that’s when Klara surprised us by coming out saying she wanted to make the clothing.

   “Do you know how?”

    “No – not yet.” was her reply “ but I will learn” – and learn she did. She bought a machine with money saved in her small business selling perfumes – and then calculatingly went about “stealing the trade” (a popular term of the Gypsies referring to the practice of learning by watching those who know and then doing yourself.) She learned alright, she learned beautifully, but more than that, she has increased her performance over the years from a duplicator of Gabor fashion to innovator creating her own Gabor styles set within the guidelines of Gabor functional and metaphysical requirements.

Klara sewing    Klara is a traditionalist and uses the Gabor style observed amongst the trendsetting "Kalaposho" (Roma royalty).  As a designer she has begun to blend the styles of Kalaposho with her own creative genius creating something new and uniquely “Klara Khani” original…

  We hope to increase Klara Khani’s demand and help fuel her drive towards reaching her unlimited potential…

 The Aprons and dress are made by Roma - for Roma.



Klara Khani





Zsu-Zsu


Zsuzu

    Zsuzu is a model subject of what the Tzigania Project is all about... Our goals at Tzigania are to empower and liberate Roma out of poverty and other forms of social injustices through their own skills and abilities.

  Zsuzu belongs to that large body of inherently disadvantaged Roma born into poverty, caught within the vicious cycle out along the fringes of both Romanian and Gabor society with no escape. Illiteracy and her single mom social status have only contributed to further marginalize her poor standings.

 It has been a tough life for Zsuzu from the very start; born into a family that couldn’t afford her, she was sent off to the orphanage. Her childhood was spent without a sense of belonging as she was being shuffling back and forth between the unwelcoming orphanage and home where her outside upbringing distanced her family relationship and she often became the scapegoat to their mounting problems.

Zsuzu Working

    Zsuzu lives today in a tiny, closet-sized room, no electricity, in the back of the home of her parents, now managed by her older brother, Marco, a blacksmith and jewelry maker that we also plan to soon bring him and his craft into the project.   From within this compact area Zsuzu works her trade finding a way to survive one day at a time.

   Zsuzu is a favorite amongst the Tzigania family because in spite of all her many physical and mental hardships she manages to keep to the Gabor code of ethics as being honest, clean, neat and hard working. She is an artist with the sewing machine yet limited by her location, poverty, illiteracy and social standings preventing her from ever reaching her potential beyond that of mending villager’s torn trousers.

  We are hopeful that an increase in our sales will result into more steady work for her. Meanwhile, we are committed to help boost her opportunities; in 2014 we purchased a new sewing machine and other tools to help her “get a leg up” and improve her standing. 
 

 The Aprons and dress made by Zsuzu are made by Roma - for Roma.



Zsu-Zsu with her daughter



Roma Dresses and Aprons - Roma Blouses and Tops More Regalia: scarves, shoes n' more
Shoppping with Zsuzu
in the supermarket
at the supermarket
at the Gabor Store
at the Gabor Store
learning the new machine
learning the new machine
learning the new machine