Romani (Gypsy) Chakra

The Roma chakra, was adopted in 1971 at the First World Romani Congress as the official symbol of the Roma (“Gypsy”) people, resembles a Hindu Chakra wheel, and not unintentionally. Chosen deliberately to honor the Romani’s Indian heritage, the sixteen spoked wheel adorns the Romani (Romany) flag, and is reminiscent of the wheels of the Vardo, or Wagon, which has served as the home for wandering Romany families for more than a hundred years.The origin of the Roma people has until somewhat recently been shrouded in misinformation and misunderstanding.  Historical romantics have asserted their origin to be anything from wandering Egyptian mystics (The appellation “Gypsy” stems from this misunderstanding) to a lost tribe of Hebrews.  Anthropological and DNA evidence has since put the factual history of the “gypsies” to rest, but the public has been somewhat slow to follow. Roma or Rom means “people.” Romani people generally refer to themselves by tribal affiliations. Common references like “Gypsy” are considered extremely derogatory and are never used by the Romani to refer to themselves.

Related Symbols:

ChakrasDharma wheel

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Jessie December 21, 2017 at 7:17 pm

My Romanian heritage is a total mystery to our family. I read the comments here and I will try the suggestions on how to go farther with my search. I did recently do my DNA test. The info does give a wide range of where my people came from. I can only go back 3 generations in my Romanian history. I if anyone knows of the surname Gaspar. Please contact me

Jess July 20, 2017 at 2:57 am

My mother has always believed we were native american. my whole life growing up I believed this as well until I met my grandmother (my mothers mother). She explained to us that we were actually gypsy. Now my grandmother, not saying too much about it, did tell my mom that her father was an architect for hitler during the 40s. So we assume he was german. Would any of you know where the gypsy would fit into all of that. It makes a lot of sense if it were my great grandmother. My grandmother herself was much of an outcast and didnt follow the rules. I can imagine her mom was the same way. But if any of you have any information please feel free to email me. I am very interested.

Phoenix June 4, 2017 at 1:13 pm


Having “mystical dreams” is nonsense and has only to do with ridiculous and ignorant stereotypes. Everybody isn’t descended from a “gypsy king” or whatever, being Roma doesn’t mean you’re some kind of mystical wanderer, and simply having ancestors from Eastern Europe doesn’t mean you’re automatically Roma. I know it’s “romantic” and “magical” to a lot of people, especially Americans with no real frame of reference besides Halloween costumes and silly patchouli-reeking catladies wishing for stolen meaning in their lives, but it’s pernicious and detrimental to *actual* Roma who have to slog through such garbage to be merely regarded as people, people who deal with marginalization and descrimination at every turn *still*. Subscribing to such idiotic ideas only reinforces these things and does nothing but prevent actual Roma from being treated as humans deserving of equality.

Jen October 25, 2016 at 11:34 pm

My family heritage is Czechoslovakian. I think there was gypsy in our ancestors and I am trying to learn more about the gypsies in general. I have been looking for a symbol maybe my ancestors would have used for protection or angels. Any thoughts, or knowledge?

Jennifer October 26, 2016 at 11:24 am

Hi Jen. You might consider a nazar, which is a typical and almost universal protection from the evil eye. I think ‘angelic symbols’ would be a pretty foreign idea to your aqncestors. If you want something emblematic, I’d suggest a horseshoe or wagon wheel, or even a guitar.

MS December 24, 2017 at 11:08 am

Hey Jen. Roma are offended by the term “G*psy” and when approaching possible association with us when you are using a racial and ethnic slur is a bad approach.

Meshell March 18, 2016 at 12:39 pm

I have been diligently digging into my family’s history for years. It was believed my Great Grandmother, was Native American. Although she would never confirm. She would only say, that to say it, would be to condemn them, as their people were not kindly looked upon. After careful research, and interviews with family elders, I believe she may have been a Gypsy, possibly Romni? I have taken into consideration, that I have checked ALL Native American, Records with ALL tribes, with no results. After years of “unusual family practices”, traditions, and things said that no one could explain, I believe that, I may now have the answer. But now I am stuck. Would love to speak to Romni in the US, for comparison ( hope that is right word)? If anyone can help, please feel free to comment, or email me directly

Michelle April 14, 2016 at 2:05 am

I too am Romni. I actually speak ancient Hungarian gyspsy language and don’t even know why. You are not alone.

Jason January 24, 2016 at 7:05 pm

I know that that I have Roma (unable to use clan name), in my family, but I do not know the clan and how to get in touch with them. I am hoping that you can give me some pointers on were to start looking.
Many thanks
P.S Do the Romani people’s have their own language and how do I learn it

Anonymous October 24, 2016 at 12:21 pm

Hi Jason,
Did you ever find out more? I recently located my father’s side, who are Roma gypsy, and am trying to learn more. What was your family’s surname?

Dara July 2, 2014 at 4:48 am

My mom’s side of the family is Kalderash and Lovari Romani. Growing up, the only way to explain to people what we are is to say that we’re gypsies. I’m not at all offended by the term. But then again I grew up in middle class America, not in a Romani community.
I guess it depends on who you talk to.

Dustin M. Withers June 25, 2014 at 6:49 am

Have deep Romani roots. i am from La. Ouachita Parish to be exact. Would like some correspondence.

Carol April 21, 2014 at 9:01 pm

I want to talk about forms of dance that were developed and spread by gypsy peoples. I don’t want to use the word Romani (or Rom, or Roma, ghak, I’ve just spotted a Romanichal above – what is happening to the nouns? Which is correct?) because that excludes peoples like the Dom & Lom who would not self-identify as Rom & who are involved in some of these dances. “Travellers” seems to me to refer only to modern Rom***, and to make sense in Britain rather than North America, and actually to be becoming pretty pejorative lately.

I’m informed that some feel that the word “gypsies” is pejorative like the “n-word”. Is that really true? I never heard that until very recently; I think in North America it’s in very common use by people who are Rom*** or have Rom ancestors. It would be great to be able to use it to mean all the… um… gypsies, actually. That just seems to me the only word to include all the groups, historically and worldwide. Is there another?

Roma Justice May 22, 2014 at 5:09 pm

It is best to refer to each individual by their individual tribal name. The best way to do this is to ask, the person usually knows. There are so many tribes, that there really is no way to fairly lump everyone together into one generic group. The term “Gypsy” should not be used unless it is for the sake of art, literature, historical and or cultural reference. It is true that within the “Gypsy” community the term “Gypsy” is still used affectionately, some don’t mind it at all, while others would be violently offended. It depends on the individual. If all else fails, don’t be a xenophobic hater and mind your basic manners — and all will be okay.

Erika March 15, 2015 at 2:20 pm

Heya! I’m attempting to create as accepting and diverse a portrayal of the romany people in my fantasy world, and I’d love some help!

Through-out the history of fantasy, authors and game-makers have always been some unintentionally racist in portraying travelling people of various stereotypes. As I’m making a folklore Scandinavian world, I’d really like to nail the portrayal of the romany in as accurate, interesting and responsible way as possible – rather than the merry, happy-go-lucky fortunte teller scammers that most do.

So! Could I get some good recommendations for research? I’m predominantely interested in the tribes that migrated north, that is, to Scandinavia – mainly Sweden – and while there’s some great books on the subject of MODERN roma, I’m looking for more history and such.

Please help me not be a xenophobic jerk! I want racial diversity, but I want to do this the right way!


Anonymous December 12, 2016 at 4:56 pm

The word “gypsy” is very derogatory. Here is an example to illustrate. Have you ever been “gypped” by someone? Was it a good thing? Would you want it to happen again or recommend the experience to a friend? When someone gyps you, they are lying, stealing, dishonest, guilty of underhanded manipulative wrongdoing in a sketchy way. Not good. So, this is why the word gypsy is really derogatory. Thank you. I am Romani Sindhi and Romani Celt. Using Roma or any other variation of this is far more respectful. Our language varies and that is why you have more than one word. All are correct. It is a difference way of looking at things. Not so rigid. That way language is a living thing. Love to you.

Dan Ruv August 30, 2013 at 9:14 pm

I am trying to trace back my origins.. Have been called to discover my Romani heritage through dreams.. ancestors trying to contact me.. Been researching intensely on my own, but the information is so scattered and hard, almost impossible to find. Any roma would like to talk? Please.. I am living in the United States. Help me discover more about my past, its important.. my email is my Great grandmother brought her way of life, and teachings with her, but nobody knows where she came from.. she speaks to me in dreams, sends me symbols..

Roma Justice May 23, 2014 at 9:58 am

The best way to find your Romani roots is to take a DNA Ancestry test to analyze how and where you fit in genetically. Once you have your raw DNA you can upload it to for free, there you can analyze it in the various free DNA tools that they offer. This will give you an exact tribal / location / circumstance breakdown, and will also connect you to your genetic Romani cousins — all over the world. It is somewhat important to know a little of the language. Amazon offers a Romani guide that is helpful. Your best literary resource as to our history is The honorable Ian Hancock, widely available for research on the internet, and also in print through online booksellers. You should research the Romani Holocaust. You might search out Youtube for music by traditionalists like Saban Bajramovic, Esma Redžepova, for a lighter more modern version Goran Bregovic and BKGO. Tony Gatlif for movies. There are many groups on Facebook as well. Good luck with your journey!

Alexandra August 8, 2013 at 11:18 am

Okay, so this feels like I’m spamming however, I just wanted to say that I accidentally have sent two different posts and whereas they are both relatively the same, I did they do have different comments…… I just didn’t want to seem too persistent or rude.

Thank you!

Alexandra August 8, 2013 at 11:14 am

Hi, my name is Alexandra Krause…. I found out not to long ago that my great grand father was a (in my uncle’s words) “Hungarian Gypsy Prince”. In all honesty I’ve no idea what that means, and it might not even be true. However, I am trying really hard to delve into my family’s history as I know basically nothing about it. And if this is true, I would love to know if I have other family members who are gypsy or romani or romany (I’m not entirely sure what it is that my great grand dad was). If I could get any information that would be… well, incredible! Plus, I would love to know what the culture is like. I did a little bit of research… but.. well, nothing like hearing it from the horse’s mouth I suppose. :)

Please e-mail me at if you can help me out with this.



Alexandra July 30, 2013 at 1:59 pm


I found out a few years ago by my uncle that my great grand dad was a “hungarian romani prince”, no idea if he was telling the truth or what (I don’t know him very well….), however I have always been really really interested in the culture of the romani (even did a report in school), and lately I’ve been having a nagging feeling in me to find more out. Such as, was my uncle telling the truth (however I don’t really have anything to go on to find this kind of information out), and also I just really want to find out about the heritage and customs properly. To be honest most of my “research” is from films and books….. oh and of course the self-proclaimed “gypsy-punk rock” band Gogol Bordello, however I found out that Gogol Bordello has kind of pissed of the romani community by doing that. haha :D

But so, yeah. I just want to find out more about… well… EVERYTHING! :) Hope there’s some help here!

Thank you,


dolores July 26, 2013 at 6:58 pm

My grandmothers side of my family was Hungarian and Romanian . I often wonder
If that part of my heritage is why I have odd dreams since I was little? Wish
I had a way to find out. Any suggestions?

Adrian April 28, 2013 at 7:53 pm

I am Romani but do not have any connections to my Romani past. Does anyone know where I can find a place to research my heritage besides Wikipedia and whatnot? Is there a special website or group? I am a Chicheskew baby and don’t know where to start looking. Thanks

- Adrian

Jennifer May 2, 2013 at 7:44 pm

I would suggest contacting these folks: They have quite a bit of material, and can point you in the right direction.

Anita Németh April 20, 2013 at 9:18 am

Hungarians in the same way ancient people, ancient culture ..
as the Gypsies .. the Hungarian people for their own writing system, the runic script. Today, no longer used, but still familiar in Transylvania.

Anita Németh April 20, 2013 at 8:55 am

Gypsy and Hungarian to be a one time special feeling …
Two people belong to the twice the responsibility.
I’m proud of both my people, most of their efforts and their success .. The will to live, the desire for survival, there is both the heart of the people ..
Need help do not really ever expect the big powers, but nevertheless, here we are.
Hungarians go for it! Opre Roma!

Anita Németh April 20, 2013 at 8:52 am

Cigánynak és magyarnak lenni egyszerre különleges érzés…
Két néphez tartozni, az kétszer akkora felelősség is.
Büszke vagyok mindkét népemre, legfőképpen az erőfeszítéseikre, a sikereikre.. arra, hogy sikerült fennmaradniuk a történelem viszontagságaitól függetlenül. Az élni akarás, a megmaradás vágya ott van mindkét népem szívében..
Segítségre nem igazán számíthattak soha a nagyhatalmaktól, de mégis, itt vagyunk.
Hajrá magyarok! Opre Roma! :) :)

Anita Németh April 20, 2013 at 8:46 am

Our ancestors once even traveled together. :) )

Anita Németh April 20, 2013 at 8:43 am

Hungary has three major Gypsy groups. Vlach Gypsies, Beás and Hungarian Gypsies (Romungros).
The Vlach Gypsies speak the Romani language, a dialect of Lovari widespread.
The Beás spoken earlier version of the Romanian language.
My family Romungro, so unfortunately no longer speak the language of their ancestors. The Romungros only speak Hungarian.
In Hungary is not easy to be a gypsy.
Frequency discrimination, and our identity can be difficult to maintain. Unfortunately ..
There are many Roma groups have a common origin but made ​​one with us.

Anita Németh April 20, 2013 at 8:30 am

Dear Gypsy brothers and sisters!
I’m a Hungarian Gypsy. Previously, I did not know the origins, because I was adopted.
Mother’s side being a gypsy origins ..
And I’m half gypsy, the maternal grandfather of. The Hungarian-born grandmother.
I am proud of my roots .. Gypsy
With all my heart I love my people.

jimmy joe edwin devance April 4, 2013 at 2:23 am

Yes my name is jimmy Joe Edwin devance. Jimmy after my dad Joe and Jhon is my uncles Edwin is my pawpaws midel name his first name was Paul my grandmother name is lucille she past over at the age 73 I speak romani some its been a long time I have not been around romanis in a long time every one calls my gypsy that is my nick name that’s what all the bikers call me I am proud of who I am not proud of my past my dad did some things and his lawyer tryed to make it look like I did it in court my dad was not much of a dad but he was a good man I saw the good in him but the drugs mast up his life and his thoughts everyone has there owne demands some of use just don’t no how to fight them and I found out how to the heard way from inside a jail I found out that pople do. Not like use at all I have got in many fights over it a.d in jail I have had to fight for my life and done r things that I well have to ancer to god about I have had men try to kill me over my name and for who I am and over my last name if ur last name is out there were you live if you are. A romani u can Chang ur stars and better your name make it better for your kids I have 8 year old and one on the way thay are everything to me I live by the law of the land I live free if there is anything that u. Can tell me about my family fell free to call me I would love to talk to some Romanis my email is send me a email and I well give you my number label it gypsy jimmy and I well no whAt it is well live free. Romanis and life is what u make it. Gypsy out :…..

my name is sylvia February 14, 2013 at 2:41 am

I am proud to be Rrom my grand father&grandmother came from Russia my
Father&mother was born here in the USA and our family uncles and aunts and all
Ther family’s I love our life. But people don’t understand nor even try to know
Us guyshy think we are all thives just cause some reins are bad does not
Make all reins bad.There is good & bad in all nationalities not just mine
Thank you all.god bless us all

Siobhan Kalder November 14, 2012 at 8:10 pm

I am third generation Rom on my father’s side from a sub tribe of the Kalderash clan call the Krizoviskish in romainia that was mostly destroyed in WWII. My great grand parents escaped to america along with another family (my father’s mothers family) to settle in Texas. My brothers and I are the first non- pure Rom of our line because my mother is of Ireland born and raised and of old lineage dating back to pre-christian times . Sadly my father, his mother my great uncle , my brothers and I are as far as we have learned the last of our tribe that was once a great many of healers and fighters.

Siobhan Krizov November 14, 2012 at 7:58 pm

My Dad is Romani, but his tribe was one of three tribes of clan the Kalderash that was decimated during WWII. His family escaped to America and he is second generation but I’m a mix cause my Mum is pure Irish and from a old linage. Dad and his family always called themselves Rom not Gypsies. my Dad, my Graniea, My great uncle and my brothers and I are the last of our line, Krizoviskish healers and warrior tribe of the Kalderash clan. Irish and Rom is not a good combination to be in some places even in american public schools due to excange students and even some teachers because for all it’s freedoms america is full of people who still discriminate against the old ways both Celtic and Romani.

Laura Hogarth October 31, 2012 at 10:07 am

I am 4th generation Romani gypsy from England and I have found it very interesting discovering my family history tree and it is great to understand why I do some things in life I can’t explain, I can not wait to visit England one day and do some more investigating and maybe meet my lost family. – laura AUS

neil lanes October 19, 2013 at 9:00 pm

Im Neil I’m Rom I have hogarth in my family get in touch opre roma

Dilynn Strickland August 23, 2012 at 6:45 pm

Hi my name is Dilynn Strickland. My whole life I haven’t known anything about my heritage. My mother would never tell me and my grandma would only say “Blessed be and live free,” and she would change the subject. I have been having really weird dreams for the past month, more of paranormal or supernatural things. Now my grandmother is in bad health. She decided to tell me about my heritage after I told her of the dreams I’ve been having. She is 100% Romani, her name is Etelka VanWinkle, her maiden name was Schnaberger. Her family dates back to the middle ages and her tribe was one of the first if not the first to practice witchcraft. The first tribe to use the cross, but not as the crucifix. I knew my family was weird because my mother is a ghost hunter who claims to be a medium. Now my grandmother told me she was a story/fortune teller. She says I have the bloodline of a witch. They were known as being the protectors of animals and being masters of the natural elements. Earth, wind, water, fire, spirit. I have had people tell me my whole life that I give off a weird vibe and it messes with their emotions, they don’t know whether to hit me or hug me. I’m a completely normal person though, I’m not some crazy kid or odd to be around. I just thought I would share, I don’t really know what to do with the information. My grandmother told me it was a great secret and that I could be harmed if spoken about it, but I mean its the 21 century so I don’t think anybody is looking to harm me, much less believe me. I’m just wondering if anybody out there is similar or knows more about this kind of thing. Again, I’m a completely normal person, I attend Oklahoma University(OU) for petroleum engineering. You can look me up on Facebook under Dilynn Strickland. Email me at or just comment on here. Thanks ahead of time. And I know how dumb all of this sounds.

Roma Justice May 23, 2014 at 11:07 am

Holy “Gypsy” stereotypes Batman!! Your family is pulling your leg. It is obvious that you need to take responsibility for your own education regarding all things Romani. Judging by your note, you are 5-6 generations removed from your nearest “Gypsy” ancestor, so approximately 2-4% Romani DNA left. Not witch or warlock — Romani / Eurasian / South_West Asian. lol Genetics aside, it is part of Romani custom that children are — whatever the father is. Good luck with your studies!

Peter Boyle June 26, 2012 at 11:51 am

My parents (father a Rom Catholic, mother a Bundist Jew) came to America from Romania in 1936. I have wandered all my life, as both parents believed in moving around as a measure of safety. They told me nothing of life in the old country nor taught me the language. Even ‘Americanized’ their name. Their idea of security was to become the same as everyone else in their new land, because where they came from to be ‘different’ was to be persecuted. Both believe in ‘diaspora’ as a way to keep their people safe from a ‘final solution’ as has been tried many times before to both their people.

Roy July 30, 2015 at 4:20 pm

Interesting. What religion and city/state where you raised in?

David hodges June 23, 2012 at 5:16 pm

Jimmy your name is devance. Your grandpa name was Paul. Idk if your jimmy or joe son. U have a lot of family in Athens. Last name ward. That was your grandmother last name. Maiden name I mean. Lucille ward.

Debbie June 18, 2012 at 8:47 am

My Great grandmother a Rom born in northern India migrated to England as a child Later married in the uk and migrated here to Australia with their 3 children one being my grandmother who married a widow with 1 child and gave birth to 11 more.
As a child a I could never understand my wandering spirit. Until my heritage was explained and i was old enough to fully understand. I have been travelling all my life both within Australia and overseas often with no known destination, a job to go to and little or no money in my pocket. I often feel fortunate that I have received strong Rom genes but also a little sad that other than my own immediate family am yet to knowingly have met another Rom, soon to own my first vardo yippee

Liza April 22, 2012 at 1:00 pm

I have found out the we are romani on my mother’s father’s side, which is historically accurate and handed down in the family, also by the use of rom as a middle name. On my mother’s side, her grandmother is full blood tatar and was adopted. This all occurred in Denmark. If there is any link to mysticism, then that I can vouch is still a strong trait in our family as well as dancing…

debra March 20, 2012 at 6:51 pm

i have a brass or bronse wheel shaped with 16 spokes wall hanger with hindu face in middle is this rare

jimmy devance July 28, 2011 at 6:36 pm

I am a romani gypsy from cleveland tx my name is jimmy devance devance is no are real last name it has been changed my family is from around tyler tx trying to fined more gypsys

Aleksandra Vlaxa July 6, 2011 at 10:42 pm

My family is Kaldersasa, Lovari, and Sinti Romani. I love my culture and wish more people in the US would understand it :)

johovo haymes May 16, 2011 at 10:46 am

very interesting and the informations is reliable

also sylvia i think you might strugle ive been searching for a while and its pretty hard nothing has been wrote down from about 20 years back

sylvia January 5, 2011 at 5:39 pm

i just found out that i have romani in me how do i go about finding more factual information?

Cindy Haviland September 28, 2010 at 7:49 pm

I LOVE the Gypsies and the Romani culture. I wish I could see more clothing and culture about them.

Joe Bell August 2, 2010 at 11:39 am

Actually, we do refer to ourselves as Gypsies as well, at least the Romanichal in England do.

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