Vol 1 No 5 Fall/Winter 2001

KURI Journal Helps for Readers:

Annotated Bibliography for

Origin Theories

Readers who are new to Dom studies will find here a brief guide to some of the English language literature that has been published. Material is drawn from scholarly journals, popular magazines, and newspapers. The descriptions are content oriented as opposed to critical reviews. The articles that are available on this web site can be accessed by clicking on the title of the article.

Sampson, John. “On the Origin and Early Migrations of the Gypsies” in Journal of the Gypsy Lore Society vol. II, No. 4, 1923: 156-169.
  Samson sumarized his view regarding the origin of the Gypsies: “We have traced the journeyings of the Gypsies from the time when, abandoning their Indian home, they entered Persia before 900 A.D., a single race speaking a single language. We have seen their separation into two bands, the Ben and the Phen Gypsies, the Ben Gypsies travelling southwards into Syria, and becoming the ancestors of the Nawar of Palestine, the Kurbat of Syria, the Karachi of modern Persia and Transcaucasia, and of the Helebi of Egypt; while the Phen Gypsies, after settling for a time in Armenia, migrated westwards through Kurdistan and Byzantine Greece, reaching the Peloponnesus before the end of the eleventh century, whence, circa 1440, they overran Europe.” Sampson also included what he called a “Genealogical Chart of the Eastern and Western Gypsies.” A reproduction of the chart is given below.

Kenrick, Donald. From India to the Mediterranean Gypsy Research Centre CRDP Midi Pyrenees, 1993.
  In January 2000 Kuri published Dr. Kenrick’s introduction to the second Romani edition of this book. In that article he summarized his hypothesis regarding Gypsy origins writing: “My own hypothesis is that the Romany people formed outside, rather than inside, India; that Indian immigrants from various tribes intermarried and intermixed in Persia forming into a people there with the name Dom (or Rom), and that a larger number of them then moved into Europe and their descendants are the Romany Gypsies of today.” In the 1993 edition of his work, Kenrick included a discussion of the various groups that left India as well as a discussion of the historical circumstances leading to their migration between 224 and 900 A.D. Some of those groups are Indian immigrant workers, the Shah’s musicians, the Sindhi, the Zott, the Dom, the Kale and the Luri.
Hancock, Ian. A Handbook of Vlax Romani. Columbus: Slavica Publishers, Inc., 1995.
  This book is intended as a teaching and grammar tool for students who are studying Romani, but it serves a variety of academic and non-academic interests. Pages seventeen through twenty-eight are devoted to a discussion of the origins of the Roma and Domari people from ancient India. Of importance for Dom studies is Hancock’s statement, “For a number of reasons, historical as well as linguistic, an exodus out of India in the 5th Century, with a later arrival in Europe in the 13th Century, doesn’t make sense, and while groups originating in India may have left as long as fifteen hundred years ago for the Middle East, their descendants today would more likely be the Nawar or Domari people, and not the Roma who reached Europe in the middle of the 13th Century” (page 20). Hancock’s brief presentation and interaction with the origin/migration theories will assist the reader in the evaluation of the positions of other theorists.

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