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Title: Gypsy Myths and Romani Cosmologies in the New World: The Roma and Calon in Brazil
Advisors: Borneman, John
Clark-Deces, Isabelle
Contributors: Anthropology Department
Keywords: Brazil
women's studies
Subjects: Cultural anthropology
Latin American studies
Women's studies
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This is an ethnographic account of Gypsy myths and Romanies in Brazil – their cosmologies, language use, and everyday practices involving sexuality, loves, jealousies, intimate rivalries, music, and fortunetelling – based on fieldwork conducted on two subgroups in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo: the Roma and the Calon. These two subgroups retain ethnic characteristics common among other Romanies elsewhere, such as moral pollution taboos, honor and shame codification of gender roles, the preservation of their own dialects of Romanes, and disinterest in formal education. Yet they differ in their positions and self-understandings within Brazilian society. The Roma view themselves as a twice-displaced diaspora with a long history of European persecutions, whereas most Calon view themselves as native Brazilians of distant Egyptian origins. The Roma still circulate victim narratives about the Holocaust, and insist on hiding their ethnicity in Brazil fearing prejudice and discrimination. They also do not recognize the Calon as ethnic Ciganos – Gypsies in Portuguese – and avoid associating with them. This complicates the process of national recognition of Romani rights to the point where Roma representatives only include the Calon in the Cigano population census in order to receive greater government investment into their own communities. In an international context, Brazilian Romani politics remain isolated. Through intersubjective experience in fieldwork encounters, with each other and with me, this dissertation depicts how Ciganos see and experience their world, and how this world intersects with larger Brazilian national and international levels of discourse and practices.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Anthropology

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