11 January 2011

Indian Place Of Origin Of Gypsies Determined (Updated)



Punjab province in shown in at the top left of the map above in crimson.

Gypsies have Indian origins in the Punjab province (population 81 million) of Northwest India, according to multiple evidence from linguistics, autosomal DNA evidence, a rare specific genetic disease mutation, and mtDNA evidence:

The dispersion of the Roma (Gypsies) through Europe represents one of the most remarkable people movements in recent historical times. The current estimates of the total Roma population size in Europe range from 4 to 10 million, with the largest numbers concentrated in Central and South-eastern Europe. The Roma constitute a diasporic population without any reliable written records, neither historic nor genealogic. Mainly of nomadic lifestyle and with endogamous social practices, the geographically dispersed Roma populations have been socially marginalized and historically persecuted.

Linguistic, anthropological, historical and genetic evidences point out India as the origin of the Roma populations, which may have left the continent approximately between the 5th–10th centuries.

After leaving India, the Roma migration route passed through Persia, Armenia, Greece and the Slavic-speaking parts of the Balkans. The acknowledgment of the Roma establishment in the Balkan region is uniformly accepted to have taken place during the 11th and 12th centuries, where they remained for two centuries before they started spreading out to all over Europe. The dispersion throughout the continent was a very fast process since by the 15th century Roma had reached the Northern and Westernmost fringes of Europe. Indeed, historical documents testify that by the early 15th century Roma were present in Catalonia and by the end of the century they were spread all over Spain and Portugal. The most important gateway for the entrance of Roma in Iberia is believed to have been the Trans-Pyrenees route. . . .

Linguistic evidences point out to North-western India as the source of the proto-Roma population, specifically to the Indo-Aryan ethnic groups in that area. Multilocus comparison of classical genetic markers showed strong affinities of the Roma with Rajput and Punjabi populations from North-Western India. Additional genetic evidence relating the Roma populations to this geographical area comes from the study of a private mutation causing primary congenital glaucoma in the Roma which has been also described in a family belonging to the Jatt, an ethnic group of Indo-Aryan descent from the Pakistani Punjab province. . . .

The European/Middle Eastern [mtDNA] haplogroups accounted for 65% to 94% in different Roma groups, whereas the rest of the lineages belonged to haplogroup M. . . . Within haplogroup M, all lineages were of clear Asian origin except one East African M1a1 sequence found in two Portuguese Roma. . . . When the analysis was performed at state level, results pointed at Punjab state (in North-Western India) as the most probable candidate to be the ancestral homeland of the Roma mtDNA types (probability = 0.54).


While an origin in Punjab province is only 54% likely based on mtDNA evidence alone, the corroboration of that conclusion with three other lines of evidence, two genetic and one linguistic, with one of the congenital disease mutation evidence being extremely specific makes a Punjabi origin for European Roma a near certainty, solving one of the long standing grand questions of history.

The resolution of this question comes with a bitter irony. Hitler, in ordering the extermination of Gypsies in Nazi death camps in the Holocaust, in pursuit of a more pure "Aryan race" for Germany, killed the only people in Europe who were actually Aryan.

UPDATED 1-12-2011: The Y-DNA story, however, does not necessarily tell the same story, and is suggestive of origins in Orissa. Of course, one can imagine ways that founding men with roots in Orissa (perhaps a detachment of soldiers deployed away from home deprived of opportunities to return home by political events) could join women from Punjab to produce the results that we see. Support for a narrative of Eastern Indian men moving to Punjab where they take local women as wives before moving on is found here where the existance of a community of Eastern Indians who relocated to Punjab (called the Domba) is identified.

Linguistic evidence also tends to narrow the likely date of departure from India to around 1000 CE to 1030 CE, although stray historical references could push that date back to around 800 CE. The genetic data supports this general timing.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for putting this together. Haryana tribal origins of Roma as well.

Diego Enríquez García said...

This is a very good summary, especially because it's based logically on many kinds of evidence. I have thought by my own personal inquiries that there is a probability of a partial eastern Indian origin of the gypsies mainly because of my own research on flamenco dance, which was crafted mainly by the gipsies in Spain. There seemed to be a private tradition of some gipsy clans that provided the basis for flamenco, but interestingly enough, this tradition seemed differenf to other spanish clans. Because of their apparent homogeneity as an ethnicity, this struck as weird. Yet I have no conclusive proof of this at the moment. However, there were other elements that pointed towards initial internal differences within the gipsy population. For example, the story of the different route taken by Andalusian-to-be gypsies, going through Egypt, Northern Africa, and then crossing over the ocean at the Gibraltar strait into Spain. I haven't seen real evidence of this route, but it's often found in sources about their history. Anyway, supposing this is true, it heightens the chance of an internal difference within the population that could be manifested in the clustering of diffeent clans and the radical separation of routes itself. It's very indirect evidence anyway. Another element that points towards a partial East Indian origin though, was a genetic study, of which I don't have the source at the moment though but I think I could relocate it, where there was a small eastern Indian ancestry visible in the overall population, but it was higher in the spanish sample. This could be due to over expression of this particular heritage because of a bottle neck effect, but then I thought, what if there really was a more prevalent eastern Indian ancestry in Spanish gypsies than in others. Anyway, the reason that I begam to suspect this, as I said, was because of flamenco itself, because it's very different to other dance traditions of the Roma, though it shares several elements though, and because it has features resemblant of Indian classical dances and mudras and stances and movements that ressemble an Odissi-like dance. If you can provide more sources for the eastern partial origin of gypsies besides the Punjabi one, I would greatly appreciate to hear from you or of you want more in detail information of my findings write me to conejonegro6@gmail.com . Cheers!