News | Published:

Origin and Rites of Gypsies

    Naturevolume 81pages142143 (1909) | Download Citation



    IN the Journal of the Gypsy-lore Society for April Miss D. E. Yates publishes a translation of a paper by Prof. R. Pischel, originally published in the Deutsche Rundschau for 1883, on the home of the Gypsies. Reviewing various references to the origin of this race, he comes to the conclusion, on the evidence of philology, that the Gypsy dialects are closely connected with those of Dardistan, and he accordingly fixes this region as the is based largely on original Gypsy home. This materials collected by Drew, Biddulph, and Leitner. It is unfortunate that this opportunity was not taken to utilise the results of Dr. Grierson's linguistic survey, which now supplies ample glossaries and grammars by which the problem may be solved. Pischel's view is accepted by Dr. Grierson in his chapter on the languages of India in the first volume of the Report on the Census of India for 1901. He regards the Indian origin of the Gypsies as fully established, and while it is doubtful from which Indian tribe they really sprung, he believes that they spoke one of the non-Sanskritic Indo-Aryan tongues, which are by him grouped under the heads of Shína-Khowár, Káfir, and Kalasha-Pashai. The work of Sir G. Robertson on the Kafirs of the Hindu-Kush also supplies materials which might have been utilised in re-editing Prof. Pischel's paper.

    About this article

    Publication history

    Issue Date



    By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

    Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing