Bulgarian Gypsies - Sociopolitical Organization

Leadership within the group comes from powerful elders, Usually men but sometimes women. These elders may refer to themselves as "kings" or "queens" (to non-Gypsies) but their power is not hereditary. Rather, it is determined by their reputations. Social control is enforced by public opinion, for example, through the threat of withdrawing sociability. Conflict between Gypsies is settled within the group through mediation or through a council of elders. Gypsies rarely seek help from the Bulgarian government because they generally do not receive fair treatment. Recently, political awareness has grown among intellectual Gypsies who are starting to lobby for ethnic rights.

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