Roma, the vagabonds of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
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Roma, the vagabonds of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
Jonas Drungilas | 2018 july 31 d. 09:00

Gypsies originated in Indian Peninsula and left their native
lands in the Middle Ages after choosing nomadic way of life.
In the 15th century, their traces are already evident in
Central Europe and it is likely that they reached the
territory of Lithuania at about the same time. It is thought
that the Great Duke of Lithuania Aleksandras granted Gypsies
the privilege in 1501 allowing them to roam all over the
Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Moving from one place to another
they would earn they daily bread through the trade of
wizardry and, forced by deprivation and poverty, eventually
got involved in the inglorious “craft”, stealing. This
is why the image of Gypsies in Lithuania has gradually
diminished to persons involved in magic and horse stealing.

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