Travellers, also called “pavees” or “minkiers,” are a predominantly English-speaking itinerant ethnic group. Their origins are unknown, as their historical and cultural records are passed down by word-of-mouth. This oral tradition makes their background difficult to verify.

One popular origin story revolves around the tale of an artisan commissioned to make nails for Christ’s crucifixion. As a result of his blasphemous act, the craftsman was condemned to an itinerant lifestyle.

Appleby’s Horse Fair, the largest and oldest fair in Europe, is a popular destination for the Travellers to gather. They converge at the fair to buy and sell horses, meet with friends and relatives and to celebrate their music, history and folklore.

The fair takes place every year in June. Attendees gather outside the town near “Gallows Hill” (so named for the public hangings that it used to accommodate). This is a short series documenting this special time together.

—Mattia Zoppellaro

Editors’ note: Zoppellaro’s project was recently published as a book by Contrasto—have a look and get your copy here.