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Nelm

Tinkers - Where does this idea come from?

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So I recently finished a re-read of the entire series. I love the series and think they are great books. After finishing them I was hunting for something new to read and seeing a new Shannara book on the shelves decided to do a re-read of the books starting with "The Elfstones of Shannara".

 

What stuck me right away is how similar the description of the "Rovers" and the "Tinkers" of the two series. I have always maintained that the Shannara books seemed to "borrow" from older fantasy novels such as "The Lord of the Rings". How much

 

So my question in regard to the Tinkers. Is there some historical foundation in our own human history that points to a travelling people that wander around in badly painted houses on wheels? That spend their time partying and thieving? I know the Tinker's have a bad reputation and it isn't justified. I just wonder does this point to our own gypsies in the past?

 

I am also trying to think if this idea has been used anywhere else in fantasy works. I want to say that it is used in some of the Dragonbone Chair series but it has been a long time.

 

Nelm

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You're thinking of the Thrithings-folk in Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, and yes, there are plenty of nomadic people in real history, including the ones mentioned by algspkr. (Although in the interest of being picky, its spelled Gypsies ... :D ... and the Amish aren't nomadic.)

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You're thinking of the Thrithings-folk in Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, and yes, there are plenty of nomadic people in real history, including the ones mentioned by algspkr. (Although in the interest of being picky, its spelled Gypsies ... :D ... and the Amish aren't nomadic.)

The Amish aren't nomadic, but they are very non-viloent.

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I think you are thinking of Quakers. If you've seen the amish men I've seen beating their horses, you might have a different take on what non-violent means.

 

Not to say that Amish people are violent. At least not anymore so than your average, Baptist, Catholic, Jew or Moslem.

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I think you are thinking of Quakers. If you've seen the amish men I've seen beating their horses, you might have a different take on what non-violent means.

 

Not to say that Amish people are violent. At least not anymore so than your average, Baptist, Catholic, Jew or Moslem.

I have only met ab Amish person once, and that was in a store, but I have always heard that they take "turn the other cheek" to extremes

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I think Gypsies are the model for the tinkers, they were once known here as bohemians and were famous for their dancing. The wagons and the bright non-cooridnated colour fits in very well with the old time gypsies, and in the UK today at fairs in appleby old gypsies caravan's and wagons can be seen in use. The gypsies are also similar to tinkers in that they were often hated by other folk and treated with distrust. However they would mend household implements as i believe the tinkers are mentioned doing.

 

However in my expierience they were not non-violent and although would never attack others, would fiercly defend their own kind- not really very tinker. They also knew more about living off the land, animals and nature than any other group of people in the UK at least. Horsewhispering - talking/communicating with horses - has long been associated with them but not believed possible, however scientific thaught is changing and some scientists and vets believe some of these people can actualy communicate with horses today. Possibably part of what made people fear and hate them. Obviously it is impossible to verify if this is really true, an i'm still a tad sceptical.

 

Does this really have any bearing on anything? :roll:

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There were also people here in the US during the mid to late 1800's that were called tinkers. They were also known as pack peddlers and also fixed household items and sold things such as needles, pots and pans. If I remember rightly, they were related to the gypsies of Europe though I don't think they had an aversions towards violence.

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There were also people here in the US during the mid to late 1800's that were called tinkers. They were also known as pack peddlers and also fixed household items and sold things such as needles, pots and pans. If I remember rightly, they were related to the gypsies of Europe though I don't think they had an aversions towards violence.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tinkers

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I see where you're all coming from with the Gypsies / Tinkers thing, but if any of you ever visit the UK and come across Gypsies, be warned - they are often the furthest thing from 'non violent'!

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Tinkers = Gypsies right down to the rep for thievery.

 

Only thing that doesn't really fit is Non-violence as that isn't really a gypsy thing.

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Yeah we have Tinkers in Ireland (see link above).

 

Apart from the name and the travelling, the stealing and the fixing pots... there isn't much in common with the WOT Tinkers. Except that most people don't like them.

 

They're quite violent - many family fueds (and they have HUGE families).

 

They had a funeral in my town a few years ago and all the bars closed for the whole day rather than banning them (although many pubs/bars do that too) - as its discrimination - cos they start fights between themselves.

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