Gypsy Law: Romani Legal Traditions and Culture / Edition 1

Gypsy Law: Romani Legal Traditions and Culture / Edition 1

by Walter O. Weyrauch
     
 


Approximately one thousand years ago Gypsies, or Roma, left their native India. Today Gypsies can be found in countries throughout the world, their distinct culture still intact in spite of the intense persecution they have endured. This authoritative collection brings together leading Gypsy and non-Gypsy scholars to examine the Romani legal system, an autonomous… See more details below

Overview


Approximately one thousand years ago Gypsies, or Roma, left their native India. Today Gypsies can be found in countries throughout the world, their distinct culture still intact in spite of the intense persecution they have endured. This authoritative collection brings together leading Gypsy and non-Gypsy scholars to examine the Romani legal system, an autonomous body of law based on an oral tradition and existing alongside dominant national legal networks.

For centuries the Roma have survived by using defensive strategies, especially the absolute exclusion of gadje (non-Gypsies) from their private lives, their values, and information about Romani language and social institutions. Sexuality, gender, and the body are fundamental to Gypsy law, with rules that govern being pure (vujo) or impure (marime). Women play an important role in maintaining legal customs, having the power to sanction and to contaminate, but they are not directly involved in legal proceedings.

These essays offer a comparative perspective on Romani legal procedures and identity, including topics such as the United States' criminalization of many aspects of Gypsy law, parallels between Jewish and Gypsy law, and legal distinctions between Romani communities. The contributors raise broad theoretical questions that transcend the specific Gypsy context and offer important insights into understanding oral legal traditions. Together they suggest a theoretical framework for explaining the coexistence of formal and informal law within a single legal system. They also highlight the ethical dilemmas encountered in comparative law research and definitions of "human rights."

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520221864
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
09/12/2001
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
298
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.75(d)

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Table of Contents

Editor's Note On Terminologyvii
Forewordix
1.Romaniya: An Introduction to Gypsy Law1
2.Autonomous Lawmaking: The Case of the "Gypsies"11
3.Theorizing Gypsy Law88
4.Informal Systems of Justice: The Formation of Law within Gypsy Communities101
5.Gypsy Law and Jewish Law117
6.Juridical Autonomy among Fifteenth and Sixteenth Century Gypsies137
7.Institutional Non-Marriage in the Finnish Roma Community and Its Relationship to Rom Traditional Law149
8.A Glossary of Romani Terms170
9.The Rom-Vlach Gypsies and the Kris-Romani188
10.Complexities of U.S. Law and Gypsy Identity231
11.Oral Legal Traditions of Gypsies and Some American Equivalents243
Contributors277
Index279

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