Dom Name List

Alphabetic Index to the Dom (Gypsy) Groups
in the Middle East & North Africa

Afrikaya Name used for a Gypsy group in Algeria.
Alimah Name given to Gypsies in Arab lands.
Aptal North Syria. Jugglers and conjurors who do not consider themselves to be Gypsies.
Awgon Comparatively recent immigrants from India to Soviet Asia. Speak an Indian dialect, but it is not Afhgan (Pushto) or Romani.
Bahlawan Name used in Sudan. Likely originates from the Persian word pahlavan, meaning juggler, prize fighter or wrestler.
Barake Syria.
Catchar A sub-group of Koli.
Djugi Also Juki. Another name for the Koli.
Dom A general term meaning "man." More specifically, a Gypsy man. Their language is Domari.
Dummi Also Demmi, Deman, and Duman. Iran, Syria and Iraq.
Evgjit Used in Albania for a particular group of Gypsies who say they came from Southern Egypt.
Ghagar A tribe in Egypt that may have migrated from Europe (Balkans or Hungary). The men are blacksmiths while the women work as rope-dancers, tattooists and singers. They live in towns in the winter, and form a distinct group in Egypt. Egyptians use the term Ghagar in a pejorative manner to speak of anyone they consider lazy or worthless. The term does not denote an ethnic group in the minds of many Egyptians. Ghagar can also be used by Egyptians in a general sense--much like the western use of Gypsy. The Ghagar live primarily in the Nile Delta in the region of Dakahlia (north of Cairo). Also used in Algiers, Sudan, Oman, Syria and Tunisia.
Ghawazee (Also Ghawazi) The well-known female dancers of Egypt. They are traditionally from the Quen area and are a subgroup of the Nawar.
Ghorbati Also Gurbat and Qorbati. The name has been derived from Arabic "gharib" (stranger) as well as from the town of Kurbat. The name was given to Koli who travel as craftsmen with nomadic Kurdish and Persian tribes in Iran.
Goodari Also Gaodari. A separate tribe in Iran, or possibly a sub-group of the Koli.

Gaodari are listed in Egypt and shown on a map titled the "Probable Lines of the First Gypsy Immigrations" in Clebert's book, The Gypsies.
Guaidiyah In Syria and Mesopotamia.
Haddad An Arabic word meaning "iron-worker," and the name the Koli use for themselves (Arnold, 1967).
Hanager A term used in Egypt for a group of Gypsies who are associated with the Nawar (of Egypt). Reportedly the Hanager are associated with organized crime, possibly even serving as assassins (DRC interview, 1998).
Halebi Also Helebi. The name comes perhaps from the town of Aleppo. A long-established group in Egypt and Libya. The men sell animals and act as vets. The women tell fortunes. Many of them live around Cairo, the Pyramid Village, along the canals leading to Sakkara, Helwan, Sohag, Qina, Luxor, Aswan, and possibly the area on the Red Sea between Hurghada and Quiser. They have also been reported in the Sudan (DRC, 1998). Their language Sim consists mainly of new disguised formations from Arabic with a very small Romani and Lugha element (Newbold).
Jat A tribe rather than a caste in India & Pakistani. Nomadising and doing (on the whole) low-grade work in Afghanistan and East Iran. Their exact relationship to the Romanies remains to be elucidated. It is also not clear whether the Jat of East Iran are descendants of earlier immigrants or comparative newcomers.
Kabuli The name is derived from the town of Kabul. Probably a sub-group of Koli in Iran, although they may be identical with the so-called "Awgon" of the USSR.
Kaloro Derived from "kalo" (black) with diminutive ending. The name given to them by groups living in Marash, Aintab (=Ainzarba ?) and on the banks of the Euphrates. Their language is mutually comprehensible with Domari, but there are significant differences in grammar.
Kara-chi Turkish word meaning "black man" (as does Kale and Kaloro). A derivation from the town of Karatch near Isfahan has also been suggested. There are two distinct groups as shown by the vocabulary, over 50% of which differs between the two groups.
Kersi In Asterabad, Iran.
Kilinghros Also Kollingogy. A Greek term. This may be connected with the term Kaliguri (plus "ghir," turning) and just means "nomad."
Koli Almost certainly derived from the Romani "kalo" (black) and not a contraction of Kabuli. Koli appears to be a term Iranians use in a pejorative manner to cover a number of groups in Iran, rather like the use of the English word "Gypsy" (DRC).

The Iranian Gypsies used to call themselves Kauli-ye-Girbalbend (sieve-maker Koli) but now they prefer the term Haddad (iron-worker). There is no evidence to link them with the early Zott emigrants at present.

Koli are also in Iraq, probably connected with the Iranian Koli.
Kouloufos A Greek designation for the Gypsies. The word comes from the root "koul." This is a pejorative term with the meaning "untidy, not settled."
Kurbat In Aleppo, North Syria. In spite of the similarity there is probably no connection with the Gurbat (Ghorbati) of Iran.
Luli A name used in Iran for the Luri and Koli.
Motribiya An Arabic word meaning "musician." Used for the Nawar in Syria.
Nawar Also Nuar, Nuri, and Nawwar. Arabic word meaning "blacksmith" or "fire-worshipper." A group bearing this name existed before the 10th century but there is no evidence to connect them with the group known by this name today. The modern group calls themselves Dom and their language Domari.

The Nawar of today are found in Egypt, Gaza, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, and elsewhere (DRC). Nuri bear-trainers were reported in Europe and America in the 19th century, and in1976 a group came to France and Germany having crossed from North Africa.
Qarabana  Also Qarabtu. In Iran.
Qarachi  Non-Gypsy nomads in Iran. Not to be confused with the Kara-chi.
Quenites  Non-Gypsy tinkers in ancient Palestine. Clebert confusingly marks them on his map.
Rawazi A name given to the Gypsies by the Arabs.
Sagvand Iran.
Sahsawan North Iran.
Sayabigeh An Indian tribe in Syria and Persia in the 6th and 7th century.
Shurasti Iran.
Suzmani Kurdistan. Live in the village of Kuchlag near Senna. They are also known as Dummi and may be related to the Duman of Syria. The men are musicians and the women are dancers.
Tsignos Also Tsinganos. The official term used in Greek documents and written material. It comes from the term "Cingani" which in turn comes from the archaic word "Adsincan." The most plausible etymology is a-thingos (heathen). The term is used throughout Europe to refer to the Gypsies. In Cypriot Turkish "Cingane" has no pejorative meaning.
Tsoani A transliteration of the Hebrew term for Gypsy. This is not a pejorative term in Israel.
Xoraxi Also Xoraxai, Xorax, Xoraxane. These Dom are sometimes referred to as Muslim Gypsies and reported to be present in Algeria as well as parts of the Balkans. They are also described as "Middle Eastern Roma," "Turkish Gypsies" and "Arabic Gypsies."
Yiftos Also Giftos. A Greek name for the Gypsies. The Cypriot dialect is "Yleftos." This is common in speech and comes from "Aigiptos," a reference to the earlier belief that the Gypsies came from Egypt.
Zargari A group that re-emigrated from Europe. In Iran and probably the USSR.

"Zargari" is the term used by strangers (non-Gypsies). The Zargaris call themselves Romi or Romani.
Zott The Arabic word for "Jat." Zott was the name of a group that existed before the 10th century. Now the term is used as a synonym of Nawwar.

The above list began with Dr. Kenrick's list in his January 1977 article,

"Romanies in the Middle East-3" in Roma, Vol. 3, No. 1.


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