Accepted Paper:

Difference and identity among the Calon Gypsies in São Paulo (Brazil)  


Florencia Ferrari (Universidade de São Paulo)

Paper short abstract:

In this paper, I consider the connection between Gypsies and gadjes (non-Gypsies) as a "relation" of viewpoints, rather than a "separation". Based on a case study of "mixed" marriage in an encampment in São Paulo (Brazil), I discuss belonging and difference through the concept of "gypsyness".

Paper long abstract:

Based on my fieldwork among Calon Gypsies in São Paulo, Brazil, I analyse the boundaries between Gypsies and gadjes, focusing on "mixed" marriages. Although the "native" discourse presents an ideal of ethnic endogamy, there is a considerable percentage − up to 30% in some camps and neighbourhoods − of marriages with gadjes (non-Gypsies). I examine the circumstances of a recent marriage between a Calon man and a gadji woman, exploring in detail her adaptation to Gypsy life and her relationship with the Calon family, especially with her mother-in-law. I compare this marriage to similar situations among other gadjis and Calins. Anchored on this case, I discuss notions of belonging and difference, through the concept of "gypsyness".

Panel W116
Beyond identity: new directions in the anthropology of Roma/Gypsy groups