Patrin: Romani Customs and Beliefs

Patrin: Romani Customs and Beliefs

This is an interesting follow-up article with regards to our discussion about marimé and Romanipen, or Romaniya. This Patrin entry covers superstitions, religion and beliefs (including the difference between fortune telling and advising), food, clothing, integration and assimilation. Also, if you read a good book or article, remember to check out the author’s sources. They will be helpful to you for more information, and for source-ideas for your paper. 

Patrin is a great resource in general: it has an enormous collection of links to help you navigate through sources, cultural information, and articles about history, social issues, and representation. Many of the contributors are Romani authors. It’s beautiful symbolically too, because a patrin is a trail marker that nomadic Romani families would leave for other nomads to communicate where they’ve been, where they’re going next, as well as warnings and other helpful tips. The patrin would usually be a cloth bundle with symbolic objects inside, like feathers, ribbon, stones, or flora, that indicate these messages. It’s almost like a material code. This kind of patrin isn’t in use much these days, but the Patrin Web Journal is like an immaterial trail marker, indicating where the Romani people as a whole have been,and helping researchers navigate what may lie ahead.  

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