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                               - Who are the Roma / Gypsies of Romania?

                          Romanian  -  Roma Hierarchy  /  Roma Caste System

 


Leading Caste:  (1)    THE TRADITIONALIST



Indian Caste                 Romanian

System Parallel    *    Slavery Status   *       Defining  Customs                                        *  Tribes / Clans     


Brahmins

 

(scholars,

teachers, priest)

State Owned Staves

Endogamous

 

Hold Traditions

 

Strictly adhere to rules and laws of Romanipen (ancient Roma laws)

 

Possess Trade Skills

Gabor

Origins:

Transylvania

 

Caldarari

Origins:

Oltenia





                     (2)            TENT GYPSIES (Cortarari)





Indian Caste              Romanian

System Parallel  *   Slavery Status   *       Defining  Customs                      *       Tribes / Clans     


Kshatriya

(warriors,

law enforcers)

 

Vaishyas

(ranchers, traders,

bankers)

State Owned

Staves

Formerly nomadic.

Today have a loosening of the old traditions and laws.

 

Still possess many of the old  trade skills.

 

Today many still follow a semi-nomadic lifestyle

Ursari (bear trainers)

Pieptenari (bone-carvers)

Argintari (jewelry makers)

Zavragi

Spoitor

Cuirari

 

* Caste made up of numerous groups


Also belonging to this caste level is the semi-nomadic Horahane (Muslim Gypsy of Black Sea coastline).  Traditional Trade: metalworkers





(3)                 HOUSE GYPSIES



Indian Caste                     Romanian

System Parallel          *  Slavery Status  *     Defining  Customs                                             *  Tribes / Clans  

Shudras

 

(artisans, craftsmen)

  Plantation  

    Staves

Lost of Roma laws and many of the old traditions.

Not endogamous.

Possess trade skills

 

Many still speaking Romani

Musicians

Basket-makers

Brick-makers

Blacksmiths



Also belonging to this caste level are “settled” Horahane (Muslim Gypsy of Black Sea Coastline)






                     (4)                  "TZIGANI" (GYPSIES)


            Indian Caste                                 Romanian

           System Parallel                      *   Slavery Status  *      Identifying  Customs                           *  Tribes / Clans     


Shudras

 

(in service of the higher caste)

Undefined

Loss of the traditions and Roma laws

 

No trade skills

Day labor

City Gypsies

 

Scavengers

 

“Hingher”





          (5) Untouchable caste       KHASHTALE     (Forest Gypsy)

                                                                                                                                                              




   Indian Caste       Romanian

  System Parallel * Slavery Status  *       Identifying  Customs                       *             Tribes / Clans     

Untouchables

Monastery

owned

Staves

No Romani language.

No Roma laws or traditions

 

Rural Gypsy located by forest edge

 

Traditional woodworkers and/or forest gatherers

 

Destitution is most common feature

Rudari – former miners.

Location: Oltenia (Southern Romania)

 

 

Lingurari - Spoon carvers.

Location: Moldova region

 

Boyash – Gold Washers

Location: Transylvania