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Društvena istraživanja : journal for general social issues, Vol.9 No.2-3 (46-47) June 2000.

Review article

The Historical and Social Characteristics of Gypsies in Croatia


Fulltext: croatian, pdf (178 KB) pages 251-266 downloads: 922* cite
HRVATIĆ, N., IVANČIĆ, S. (2000). POVIJESNO – SOCIJALNA OBILJEŽJA ROMA U HRVATSKOJ. Društvena istraživanja : časopis za opća društvena pitanja, 9(2-3 (46-47)), 251-266. Retrieved from

Gypsies in Croatia are a historical autochthonous minority with
clearly defined determinants of ethnic identity and specific
cultural, artistic and traditional achievements. The results of the
scientific research project “The social and developmental position
of Gypsies in Croatia” carried out by the Institute of Social
Sciences Ivo Pilar from Zagreb (1998-1999), indicated through
a historical analysis of Gypsy migrations the specific sociocultural
position of Gypsies in Croatia from the past (first
mentioned in Dubrovnik in 1362) until today. The lifestyle and
migrations of Gypsies, although containing certain comparative
advantages (dynamics, adaptability, connection between the
working and living community), are often burdened by processes
of isolation and assimilation in a broader as well as narrower
environment. Gypsy (tribal) groups living nomadic lives or
in isolated settlements have to a greater extent managed to preserve
their ethnic identity. The expressed disproportion between
the number of Gypsies in the census and their actual number is
characteristic of the European (and Croatian) context. The
national community of Gypsies in Croatia (6,695 Gypsies according
to data from the 1991 census) has not been fully established,
the cause of which lies in the dispersion of Gypsies
throughout the whole territory of the Republic of Croatia, but also
in the specifics determined by affiliation to different tribal
groups, beliefs, economic status, types of occupation and dialects
of the Gypsy language, moving towards a better understanding
and appreciation of Gypsy culture on the part of non-

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