Xoraxané Romá - Religion and Expressive Culture

Religion. The Xoraxané call themselves Muslims, though religious practice is held to be a private affair. The nonpracticing Xoraxané are in no way censured. In Italy, where there are no mosques, the practicing Muslim Xoraxané content themselves with observing Ramadan, not eating pork, and invoking Allah in moments of need. Many have begun to have their children baptized according to the Christian rites, but they continue to call themselves Muslims. Messianic movements that have met with success among other Gypsy groups in Italy (e.g., the Rom Kalderash and some Sinti groups) do not seem to interest the Xoraxané.

Death and Afterlife. When possible, the Xoraxané will take their dead to Yugoslavia in order to bury them according to Muslim ritual. They believe in the return of the dead (especially for those who meet a violent death) in the form of vampires ( coxané ). These are believed to possess superhuman aspects and to become incarnate in children. Some say the vampires exist only in Yugoslavia, while others swear they have seen them in Italy.

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