ETHNONYMS: Finnish Kaale, Natmandsfolk (Denmark), Tatere (Norway), Tattare (Sweden)
People identified as Gypsies began arriving in the Scandinavian countries as early as 1500. Today, peoples traditionally identified as either Gypsies or Travellers are found in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. Population estimates covering both groups for the early 1980s are: 1,000-1,500 (Denmark); 5,000-7,000 (Finland); 250-500 (Norway); and 6,000-10,000 (Sweden).
Soon after their arrival in Scandinavia, these peoples experienced the same discrimination as in other nations. Sweden first enacted discriminatory laws in 1560, and banished all peripatetics in 1637. They were afforded full legal rights only in 1954. The same pattern holds for Denmark, which began persecutions in 1536, Norway, whose persecutions began in 1687, and Finland, which moved Gypsies to the Russian border in 1660. Peripatetic peoples in these countries are now largely settled, and discrimination has eased. In the mid-1960s, the Gypsy population of Denmark was increased by people migrating from Yugoslavia. In 1973 the Nordic Council of Romanies was founded, which served as an umbrella organization for other smaller associations representing Gypsy and Traveller groups in the Scandinavian countries.
Alanen, I. (1970). The Gypsies of Finland. Helsinki: Helsinki University.
Barth, F. (1955). "The Social Organization of a Pariah Group in Norway." Norveg 5:125-143.
Gronfors, M. (1977). Blood Feuding among Finnish Gypsies. Research Report no. 21, Department of Sociology, University of Helsinki.
Gronfors, M. (1979). Ethnic Minorities and Deviance: The Relationship between Finnish Gypsies and the Police. Helsinki: Helsingin Yliopisto.
Mohammed-Salih, M. (1985). "The Position of Gypsies in Finnish Society." Ph.D. Thesis, University of Manchester, England.
Takman, J. (1976). The Gypsies in Sweden: A Soci-Medical Study. Stockholm: LiberForlag.
Trankell, I., and A. Trankell (1968). "Problems of the Swedish Gypsies." Scandinavian Journal of Education Research 12:141-214.