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The Kalderash (Căldărari in Romanian, Kelderari in Romani, Kotlyary and Kelderary in Russian and Ukrainian) is the name of one of subgroups of Romani people from the Roma meta-group. They originated on the land of present day Romania, but today they can be found in other parts of the world, too. They were traditionally smiths and metal workers. Căldărar means "cauldron makers" in Romanian, ultimately hailing from the Latin caldāria, related to the neo-Greek ϰαρδάρι.[1] Many Roma and non-Roma living in Romania have the surname "Căldărar/Căldăraru" which means they or their ancestors belong to this Romani subgroup.[1]

Probably this is the same Romani subgroup that in Albania and other areas of Balkans is called Arixhi or Harixhi. In Albanian this means bear-man. Sometimes they keep a bear for circus performances, though their main trade is smiths and making of willow baskets and other tools. - Edit : Possible confusion with the Ursari clan, or bear-tamers.

The Kalderash of Ukraine and Russia call themselves Kotlyary (which means also "cauldron makers" in Ukrainian and Russian). They spread throughout Ukraine migrating from Bessarabia to the north and east.

There are about two hundred thousand Căldărari living in Romania, although the exact number isn't known.

Nowadays, due to industrialisation, metalcraft is no longer as profitable, so the Kalderash have diversified their sources of income, though often they remain in metallurgy.

The Kalderash traditional dress is one of the most famous Romani traditional dresses, and is still worn. They usually marry at a very young age (15 - 20, last 20 years in Russia 12-18) and have very strict customs relating to hygiene.

Famous Kalderash

  • Matéo Maximoff - writer.
  • Ronald Lee - writer.
  • Vladislav Demeter - journalist, activist, choirmaster.
  • Peter Demeter - music composer, actor.
  • Nadezhda Demeter - activist, ethnographist.
  • Emil Demeter - writer.
  • Olga Demeter-Charskaya - actress, singer, poet, writer.
  • Roman Demeter - poet.
  • Oleg Petrovich (Mursha Saporoni) - writer.
  • Josiah Kalderash - religious leader.
  • Katarina Taikon - author of books for children .
  • Rosa Taikon - jeweller.
  • Luminiţa Cioabă (Maria Mihai) - writer.


See also



Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Wikipedia has an article on:





The Kalderash were originally cauldron makers (coppersmiths) in the Balkans and the name of the language refers to this.




Kalderash (uncountable)

  1. A dialect of Vlax Romani language belonging to the Romani languages.

External links

Ethnologue entry for Kalderash, rmy (Vlax Romani)



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