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Mitochondrial DNA Diversity in the Polish Roma


A recently published report from the Institute of Biological Problems of the North, Russian Academy of Sciences, Portovaya str. 18, 685000 Magadan, Russia, by;

Malyarchuk BA, Grzybowski T, Derenko MV, Czarny J, Miscicka-Sliwka D., offers weighty, scientific support for the contention that not all Romani are Roma/Rroma and that, whilst all the various Nation Tribes and groups may have similarities sufficient to class us all as one People, the Romani or 'Gypsy', we are not, all of the Nation Tribe "Roma".


Although the study itself persists in the erroneous use of the style "Roma" as a generic name for all Romani People, it does, nevertheless, reveal important DNA variations among some 'Polish' Romani groups.


Although the report is given in technical, scientific language, it is quite clear that findings of the research point to definite ancestral differences among groups of the Polish Romani population.


"The results of complete mtDNA sequencing clearly indicate that the Romani M*-lineage belongs to the Indian-specific haplogroup M5, which is characterized by three transitions in the coding region, at sites 12477, 3921 and 709.  Molecular variance analysis inferred from mtDNA data reveals that genetic distances between the Roma groups are considerably larger than those between the surrounding European populations.  Also, there are significant differences between the Bulgarian Roma (Balkan and Vlax groups) and West European Roma (Polish, Lithuanian and Spanish groups).  Comparative analysis ofmtDNA haplotypes in the Roma populations shows that different haplotypes appear to demonstrate impressive founder effects: M5 and H (16261-16304) in all Romani groups; U3, I and J1 in some Romani groups.


Interestingly, haplogroup K (with HVS I motif 16224-16234-16311) found in the Polish Roma sample seems to be specific for Ashkenazi Jewish populations.




Whilst I'm no scientist, nor have I any expertise in the area of DNA studies, I am well aware of the reliance placed upon DNA evidence; I would therefore, offer the results of this research as yet further 'proof', (If such were needed?), of the erroneous attempts by some Gohja politicians and 'Gypsy exploiteers', with European support, to have all "Romani" classed as "Roma/Rroma".


My own view, shared by others in this group, is that the Roma were among the last of all Romani groups to make their way into Europe, most of them destined to endure outright slavery for many generations and, as a direct consequence, suffer unusual changes to the more traditional Romipen in ways not experienced among the earlier-arriving Sinti and Kale.  Such 'unusual changes' may be seen in the consumption of horse flesh, and the practice of 'child-marriage', things that were not and are not in mainstream tatcho Romipen?


Tom O (Romanichal)

The Lord Ramh said;

"And the greatest of these, my gifts, is Understanding."


Gypsy Union 2006/2007