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The Story of Tio Carlos

The autobiography of a Spanish 'gitano'


Kirsten Wang

Tio Carlos was born in Madrid in 1920. This book tells the story of his life as a Gipsy, Gitano. Due to circumstances he lived mostly in the provinces south of the capital. His lifespan includes some of the most turbulent times in newer Spanish history, and the many changes brought about had a decisive influence also on Gipsy life. His story tells about the traditional way of life in the Spanish countryside, and we later follow him and his family through the Spanish Civil war and the many social and economic changes that took place afterwards turning Spain from being a primarily agricultural society into a modern industrial state. His story tells about family structure, economic conditions, religious practices and social adaptation of an ethnic group that through history has managed to survive in spite of great adversities. Tio Carlos died on the 20th September 1994.