Kale (Welsh Romanies)

Kale (Welsh Romanies)

The Kale (also Kalá, Valshanange) are a group of Romani people who reside in Wales. Many claim to be descendant of Abram Wood, who was the first Romani to reside permanently and exclusively in Wales in the early 1700s, though Welsh Kale have appeared in Wales since the 1400s. [http://www.valleystream.co.uk/romany-welsh%20.htm] Generally speaking, the Kale have employed a tribal structure in which a group of several family units would be under the authority of a male chieftain.


The Kale spoke Welsh Romani in North Wales until the last 60 years or so; in South Wales, a sort of "pidgin" dialect arose in the late 1800s, mostly consisting of Romani and English but with other loan words from various languages (Arabic, Iranian, Greek, Romanian, German, French and Welsh) that indicate the long journey of the Kale.

Integration into Welsh Culture

While preserving their travelling lifestyle the Kale grew to claim several aspects of Welsh culture, including conversion to Christianity, taking on Welsh surnames, and participating in regional and national eisteddfodau. Notably, John Robert Lews, the husband of Abram Wood's granddaughter, would win prizes for harping in 1842, 1848 and 1850.

ee also

*Finnish Kàlo
*Spanish Caló


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