GypsiesGypsies or Gipsies[from Egypt,because of an inaccurate idea that Gypsies came from a so-called Little Egypt], a traditionally nomadic people with particular folkwaysand a unique language, found on every continent; they often refer to themselves as Roma. Their language, called Romany, belongs to the Indo-Iranian family and is closely related to the languages of NW India. Their blood groupings have been found to coincide with those of S Himalayan tribes, and genetic mutations they possess are otherwise found only among Indians and Pakistanis. Gypsies worldwide are estimated to number between 10 and 12 million.In the course of their wanderings, Gypsies have occasionally mixed with non-Gypsy neighbors and have sometimes settled down, but they have clung tenaciously to their identity and customs. Their physical type has remained largely unaltered; most Gypsies are dark-complexioned, short, and lightly built. Their bands are still ruled by elders. Gypsies have usually adopted the religion
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