#340897

NikeBG
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@nikebg

All Gypsies traditionally have clans (they do come from Northern India, after all) – in Bulgaria they’re Kardarashi, Yerlii and I keep forgetting the name for the Vlach Gypsies. In addition they have sub-clans, often based on their profession – the Vlach Gypsies f.e. are Mechkari (though all dancing bears are in Bridgitte Bardo’s nature reserve now, so I don’t know what they’re doing), Kopanari (wooden spoon/ladle makers) and I think there was one more (some kind of musicians, I think?). The Kardarashi in general are named after their old job (cauldron-makers), but nowadays they’re mostly known as fortune-tellers and pickpockets (and they do make quite some big bucks from it, I’ve had some Kardarashi neighbours in my old area and they were indeed the richest Gypsies there). I think they’re also the ones who stick the most to their “meshere” (Gypsy court), so basically they’re the most conservative of all Gypsies, still preserving the traditions which most other groups have already abandoned.
In general, Gypsies have a pretty interesting history and social system, but it remains largely unknown to most outsiders, especially today when those traditions are being lost among the Gypsies themselves. F.e. of all the Gypsies I’ve met, that family of Kardarashi was the only one whose clan I knew, all others are just Gypsies to me.

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