Скачать pdf
Key words
the Kalderash Roma, religious and mythological notions of the Gypsies, Gypsy folklore, Christian legends
About the Author
E-mail: Tel.: +7 (3422) 212-70-19
13a, Lenina str., Perm, 614090, Russian Federation
Grand PhD (History), сorresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, head of the Ethnological Research Sector, Department of History, Archaeology and Ethnography, Perm Federal Research Center, Ural Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences

This paper is supported by the Grant of the Foundation for Basic Research project No. 17-11-59002 “Roma (Gipsy) communities of the Urals: history, traditional culture, ethnic processes”.


Basing on the materials of field studies of the Russian Roma (the Kalderash ethnographic group, Moldovaya branch), the article observes existence of texts of the Christian folk legends in one of the local traditions —  that of the clan of Ruvoni (Perm). The goals of the study are to present and to publish the texts of the Christian legends of the Kalderash gypsies, to identify the peculiarities of their existence and to analyze the main plots and motifs.

Some of the main recorded plots and motives are the creation of the world, the genesis and the fall of the earliest human beings, the origination of different peoples, the Noah’s Flood, the birth and the crucifixion of Christ. Majority of the recorded legends are etiological and their core-type motif aims to explain the exclusiveness of the Gypsy community among other peoples of the world. There in the corpus of the recorded texts central position is occupied by texts which explain origin of the Roma people and their national peculiarity as a nomadic way of life and diversity in comparison with neighboring peoples. An emphasized “ethnic” focus is another distinct feature of the narratives. A Gypsy person appears as the the main character of the narratives usually. New Testament legends about Jesus Christ Crucifixion are the main legends which explain Roma exclusiveness. The plot of hidden nail for Crucifixion is represented in different versions. In return for easing of Jesus torture, Roma obtain cunning because “the God forgives everything to Gypsy”. A vast amount of the texts of the gypsy legends introduce only certain Christian motifs into the body of the mythological narrative. Active use and preservation of the texts as well as their updating is connected to the explanation of the Roma exclusiveness and closeness and these factors play an important role in the explanation of the Roma identity. 


Agapkina T. A. (2012) Yablonya [Apple-tree]. In: Slavyanskie drevnosti: Etnolingvisticheskiy slovar’ [Slavic antiquities: Ethno-linguistic dictionary]. In 5 vol. Vol. 5. Moscow. Pp. 611–613. In Russian.

Belova O. (2003) Kto est’ kto? Proiskhozhdeniye i sud’ba narodov v svete “fol’klornoy etnologii” [Who is who? Origin and destiny of peoples in the light of “folk ethnology”]. Rossiya —  XXI vek [Russia —  the 21th century]. 2003. No. 4. Pp. 168–172. In Russian.

Belova O. V. (2007) Bibleyskiye legendy v folklore slavyanskikh i finno-ugorskikh narodov [Bible legends in the folklore of Slavic and FinnoUgric peoples]. In: Slavyanskiy al’manakh 2006 [Slavic almanac 2006]. Moscow. Pp. 229–241. In Russian.

Belova O. V. (2012) Yabloko [Apple]. In: Sla- vyanskie drevnosti: Etnolingvisticheskiy slovar’ [Slavic antiquities: Ethno-linguistic dictionary]. In 5 vol. Vol. 5. Moscow. Pp. 608–611. In Russian.

Belova O. V. (comp., comm.) (2004) Narod- naya Bibliya: Vostochnoslavyanskiye etiologiches kiye legendy [Folk Bible: Eastern Slavic ethnological legends]. Moscow. In Russian.

Chernykh A. V. (2003) Permskie tsygane: ocherki etnografii tsyganskogo tabora [Perm Roma: essays on ethnography of a Gypsy camping- ground]. Perm’. In Russian.

Chernykh A. V. (2012) Komara —  khozyayka zolota i  khranitel’nitsa kladov v traditsionnoy kul’ture i fol’klore tsygan-kelderarov [Mosquito as the mistress of gold and the hostess of treasures in traditional culture of the Kalderash Roma]. Traditsionnaya kul’tura [Traditional culture]. 2012. No. 3. Pp. 120–128. In Russian.

Chernykh A. V., Vayman D. I., Goleva T. G., Kamenskikh M. S., Shevyrin S. A. (2014). Narody Permskogo kraya. Istoriya i etnografiya [Peoples of Perm Territory. History and ethnography]. Vol. 2. Perm’. In Russian.

Druts E.; Gessler A. (1990) Tsygane: Ocherki. [Roma: Essays]. Moscow. In Russian.

Kabakova G. N. (1999) Adam i Eva v legendakh vostochnykh slavyan [Adam and Eve in the legends of Eastern Slavs]. Zhivaya starina [Alive antiquity]. 1999. No. 2. Pp. 2–4. In Russian.

Kozhanov K. A., Chernykh A. V. (2016) Mifologicheskiye personazhi tsygan-kelderarov: mamerry [Mythological characters of Kalderash Roma]. Traditsionnaya kul’tura [Traditional culture]. 2016. No. 4. Pp. 135–146. In Russian.

Kuznetsova V. S. (2014) O lokal’nykh osobennostyakh sibirskogo korpusa legend russkoy fol’klornoy Biblii [Local peculiarities of Siberian legend corpus of the Russian Folk Bible]. Yazyki i fol’klor korennykh narodov Sibiri [Language and folklore of the indigenous peoples of Siberia]. 2014. No. 1 (26). Pp. 54–60. In Russian.

Marushiakova E., Popov V. (1994) Legendi [Legends]. Studii Romani. Vol. 1. Pp. 92–95. Sofia. In Bulgarian.

Oynotkinova N. R. (2013) Legendy o potope i vavilonskoy bashne v fol’klore tyurkov Yuzhnoy Sibiri [Legends of Noah’s Flood and the Tower of Babel in the folklore of the Turkic peoples of the Southern Siberia]. Sibirskiy filologicheskiy zhurnal [Siberian philological journal]. 2013. No. 2. Pp. 22–28. In Russian.

Oynotkinova N. R. (2013) Bibleyskiye syuzhety i motivy v neskazochnoy proze altaytsev [Bible plots and motifs in proze narratives of the Altaians]. Zhivaya starina [Alive antiquity]. 2013. No. 2. Pp. 42–44. In Russian.

Sharapov V. E. (1996) Khristianskiye syuzhety v fol’klore komi staroobryadtsev Sredney Pechory [Christian plots in the folklore of Komi Old-believers of Middle Pechora]. In: Khristianizatsiya Komi kraya i ee rol’ v razvitii gosudarstvennosti i kul’tury [Christianization of Komi territory and its role in development of state construction and culture]. Vol. 2. Syktyvkar. Pp. 310–320. In Russian.

Smirnova O. N., Chuvyurov A. A. (2002) Khristianskiye legendy v traditsionnoy kul’ture komi [Christian legends in traditional culture of Komi]. Zhivaya starina [Alive antiquity]. 2002. No. 3. Pp. 14–16. In Russian.

Trofimova K. P. (2011) Kosmogonicheskie ele- menty v religioznykh predstavleniyakh tsygan [Cosmogonic elements in religious notions of Roma]. Religiovedeniye [Religion studies]. 2011. No. 3. S. 21–33. In Russian.

Trofimova K. P. (2013) Religioznyye predstavleniya i obryady tsygan Yugo-Vostochnoy Evropy [Religious notions and rites of Roma of the SouthEastern Europe]. PhD thesis. Moscow. In Russian.