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Thread: Origins of the Gypsies/European Roma

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    Origins of the Gypsies/European Roma

    Previous genetic studies, supported by linguistic and historical data, suggest that the European Roma,
    comprising a large number of socially divergent endogamous groups, may be a complex conglomerate of
    founder populations. The boundaries and characteristics of such founder populations and their relationship
    to the currently existing social stratification of the Roma have not been investigated. This study is an attempt
    to address the issues of common vs independent origins and the history of population fissioning in three
    Romani groups that are well defined and strictly endogamous relative to each other. According to linguistic
    classifications, these groups belong to the Vlax Roma, who account for a large proportion of the European
    Romani population. The analysis of mtDNA sequence variation has shown that a large proportion of maternal
    lineages are common to the three groups. The study of a set of Y chromosome markers of different mutability
    has revealed that over 70% of males belong to a single lineage that appears unique to the Roma and presents
    with closely related microsatellite haplotypes and MSY1 codes. The study unambiguously points to the
    common origins of the three Vlax groups and the recent nature of the population fissions, and provides
    preliminary evidence of limited genetic diversity in this young founder population. European Journal of Human
    Genetics (2001) 9, 97 ± 104.

    ----------------------------



    True Gypsies are robust, healthy, and strong, usually of light build with dark expressive eyes and swarthy complexions ranging from deep brown to olive — although fair skinned Gypsies are not unheard of. When they are young, the men are handsome and the women beautiful, but their rugged and unconventional lifestyle can age them quickly. Gypsies call themselves Rom (Man) in the singular, and Romi or Roma in the plural; everybody else they call Gadje, which means foreigner. Wherever true Gypsies go, they remain a distinct people keeping their own language and customs and maintaining a social distance from the Gadje. The mother tongue of the Rom is known to them Romanes, Romani, or Romani-tchib (tchib means tongue). This language belongs to the Dardic group of the Indo-Iranian languages, that are a subfamily of the Indo-European family.


    http://www.passion-music.co.uk/artic...ma_gypsies.htm
    Last edited by Euclides; Wednesday, March 31st, 2004 at 05:16 PM.

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    Post Origins and divergence of the Roma (gypsies)

    Origins and divergence of the Roma (gypsies)

    Gresham D, Morar B, Underhill PA, Passarino G, Lin AA, Wise C, Angelicheva D, Calafell F, Oefner PJ, Shen P, Tournev I, de Pablo R, Kucinskas V, Perez-Lezaun A, Marushiakova E, Popov V, Kalaydjieva L.

    Centre for Human Genetics, Edith Cowan University, Perth, WA, Australia.

    Abstract:
    The identification of a growing number of novel Mendelian disorders and private mutations in the Roma (Gypsies) points to their unique genetic heritage. Linguistic evidence suggests that they are of diverse Indian origins. Their social structure within Europe resembles that of the jatis of India, where the endogamous group, often defined by profession, is the primary unit. Genetic studies have reported dramatic differences in the frequencies of mutations and neutral polymorphisms in different Romani populations. However, these studies have not resolved ambiguities regarding the origins and relatedness of Romani populations. In this study, we examine the genetic structure of 14 well-defined Romani populations. Y-chromosome and mtDNA markers of different mutability were analyzed in a total of 275 individuals. Asian Y-chromosome haplogroup VI-68, defined by a mutation at the M82 locus, was present in all 14 populations and accounted for 44.8% of Romani Y chromosomes. Asian mtDNA-haplogroup M was also identified in all Romani populations and accounted for 26.5% of female lineages in the sample. Limited diversity within these two haplogroups, measured by the variation at eight short-tandem-repeat loci for the Y chromosome, and sequencing of the HVS1 for the mtDNA are consistent with a small group of founders splitting from a single ethnic population in the Indian subcontinent. Principal-components analysis and analysis of molecular variance indicate that genetic structure in extant endogamous Romani populations has been shaped by genetic drift and differential admixture and correlates with the migrational history of the Roma in Europe. By contrast, social organization and professional group divisions appear to be the product of a more recent restitution of the caste system of India.
    .

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    Senior Member Oskorei's Avatar
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    Post Re: Origins and divergence of the Roma (gypsies)

    Interesting article. The theory of them being of both Rajput and lowcaste origin seems plausible.


    I wonder if an alternative explanation for the many hereditary diseases they have could be that the most assimilable Roma historically left the ethnic group and became assimilated with the majority culture instead.

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    Account Inactive Polak's Avatar
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    Post Re: Origins and divergence of the Roma (gypsies)

    That's interesting.

    It appears that mtDNA marker M may have thus found its way into some European populations via contact with the Gypsies, and not Mongols or Uralics.

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    You are not wrong, who deem / That my days have been a dream Johannes de León's Avatar
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    Post Romany Gypsies came out of India

    Anna Salleh
    ABC Science Online

    Legend has it that European Gypsies came from Egypt but a new genetic study has shown they came from a small population that emerged from ancestors in India around 1000 years ago.

    The research, by Professor Luba Kalaydjieva of the University of Western Australia and team, looked at the origins of eight to 10 million people in Europe commonly known as Gypsies.

    Roma, Romani or Romany are other names for this community, which has featured in movies such as Latcho Drom.

    "[The research] is the best evidence yet of the Indian origins of the Gypsies," the researchers write in an article published online ahead of print in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

    The researchers were first alerted to the idea that the Romany may be descended from a small founder population when they discovered that certain genetic mutations in the population were shared in people who were not directly related.

    This occurs in other groups that have developed from small founder populations such as the Finns, Ashkenazi Jews, the population of Quebec in Canada and possibly the Australian island state of Tasmania, Kalaydjieva, told ABC Science Online.

    Kalaydjieva and team have been studying the genetics of Romany people for over 10 years.

    In this recent study, which will be published in the October issue of the journal, the researchers analysed five genetic mutations linked to certain diseases, such as the neuromuscular disorder myasthenia.

    The aim was to try and estimate when the original founder population arose and when it split off into different groups of Romany.

    The researchers studied the diversity of the chromosomes that carry the genetic markers. Over successive generations, the region around the genetic markers become more and more diverse.

    By applying a known rate of genetic change in DNA, the researchers worked out the founder population emerged from the ancestral population 32 to 40 generations ago, or 800 to 1000 years ago.

    An Indian origin

    As well as looking at over 1100 samples of Romany from Europe, they studied six samples from India and found that the similarity in genetic markers supported the theory that the founder group, of perhaps under 1000 people, came from India.

    The idea that Romany people came from India was first proposed 200 years ago based on similarities between their language and the Indian language Sanskrit, said Kalaydjieva. But such studies were inconclusive.

    "There are quite a few examples where a population adopts a language but this does not necessarily mean its biological roots belong to the same place as the larger population that speaks this language," she said.

    "So from the biological point of view we have provided we have provided the best evidence so far that this is indeed a population that derives from the Indian subcontinent."

    Kalaydjieva and team's analysis of disease genetic markers supported the scientists' previous research on male and female genetic markers.

    "It all points in the same direction," she said.

    Gypsy: a loaded term

    Kalaydjieva said scientists commonly used the term "Gypsy" but this was politically and historically loaded.

    "Initially Gypsies were called Gypsies because Europeans believed, and this was a legend that the Gypsies maintained themselves, that they came from Egypt," she said.

    But she said Gypsies had been persecuted due to superstition, racism and prejudice. The term Gypsy had become increasingly given a pejorative meaning, being used to describe a social category with a wandering nomadic way of life, rather than a biological population. Many people from that group now preferred to be called Roma, Romani or Romany.

    She said the term Romani or Romany, strictly speaking linguistically and historically, described Balkan Gypsies. These people were a sub-group of European Gypsies and the scientific term Gypsy was a more generic term to cover the biological population.

    Today people descended from European Gypsies live all over the world, even Australia. In Bulgaria alone there are at least 50 groups with different traditions, cultures, dialects and adopted religions.
    .

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    Post Re: Romany Gypsies came out of India

    Yes, this despised Volk, so hated by Adolf Hitler, may well be closer to the Aryans of Persia and Bharat than any other European people. And, wouldn't that be ironic ? Not only is their language Indic and related both to Sanskrit (and, of course, Vedic) and the Prakrits of Bharat, but now they are found to be genetically derived from Bharat.
    They don't look much like your ideal Germanic Aryan race, do they ? Could that be because it never existed ? Nobody knows what became of the Aryans after they entered Bharat and Parsiya. We know how the IE language spread, but not where the people went. Maybe they just settled down right there in Bharat and Parsiya and stayed there except for the wandering Romani (or Zigeuner).
    Maybe the despised "Gypsies" though few in numbers played a significent role, in the dissemination of the Indo-European language.

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    Senior Member Oskorei's Avatar
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    Post Re: Romany Gypsies came out of India

    In another thread on Skadi, it is made clear through genetic research that the Roma are descendentants from a group of high-caste Indians (Aryan) and their lowcaste followers. As could be expected, the highcastes were not as many as the followers.

    Being "genetically derived from Bharat" is not the same thing as being Aryan, since most Indians are Dravidians.

    And your theory about the roma being the ones who spread the IE language is also flawed, their migration occured much later. So, culturally and linguistically they have many Aryan traits, but genetically they are also much dravidian, and also have problems with inbreeding.

    Personally I have always been treated with honour and courtesy by the Swedish Roma and similar groups Ive met and I actually like them very much, so this post is not meant as an attack on this interesting people, but only as a correction of several flawed statements.

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    Member Zvonimir's Avatar
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    Post Gypsies

    In which racial group you would classify gypsies?

    I can post pictures of them but I believe we all know how they look like.
    One nation, one state, one leader.

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    Post Re: Gypsies

    As far as I know, they are a mishmash of various Caucasoid strains they picked up during their trek from India to Europe.

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    Post Re: Gypsies

    What Siegfried said. Many groups of European and non-European nomads gradually 'became' Gypsies over time. Perhaps like the Irish 'Travellers', and mixed with them.

    There are some families of blond, blue-eyed gypsies I've seen.

    The most common type around here would be a dolichocephalic type with sharp features, a hooked nose, black ( with a bluish tinge ) hair, dark eyes, dark skin, usually dark olive, or light brown. Basically short stature, but gracile types. Weak browridges, weakly developed chin ( prognathism is common, perhaps due to poverty ).

    There are also many other types.

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