Vlach Gypsies of Hungary - Kinship



Kin Groups and Descent. There are no formalized kin groups among the Vlach Rom, nor is an ideology of shared descent important in conceiving social relations. Rather, shared identity is talked of primarily in terms of shared activity at the present time. If one lives like a Rom, sharing one's life with other Rom, one is a Rom. In line with this ideology of identity through shared activity, Gypsies think of themselves as a "brotherhood" open to anyone who fully participates in the communal rituals.

Kinship Terminology. In traditional terms Rom terminology is of the Eskimo type. However, men of any age or relation to the speaker are most commonly referred to and addressed as "boys" and women likewise as "girls." This use of kin terms seems to accord with the antidescent ideology of "brotherhood."

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