Rom baro

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In Romani communities in the United States and some areas of Europe,[1] the rom baro is the tribal leader. A rom baro serves the same purpose as a big man in New Guinean tribal societies. He earns his position through merit, and his decisions ‒ although considered wise ‒ do not have the automatic approval of the community.[2] Other factors in the selection of a rom baro include knowledge of the language of the areas of planned travel and resourcefulness in emergency situations.[3]

Rom Baro is also the name of a Gypsy Horse stallion owned by what was once one of the largest importers of Gypsy Horses to the northern hemisphere, Black Forest Shires and Gypsy Horses (2000-2012). Barn name Tyson, Rom Baro was imported from France in 2002 and died in 2008.[4] He appeared in the 2007 Tournament of Roses and was shown in the first known Gypsy Horse classes ever held in the U.S. [5]


The term baro is of Indic origin, and implies not only "big", but also powerful and important. Some Canadian and American Romani groups have substituted the term shato, a contraction of O Baro Shato, "the bigshot".[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sharon Bohn Gmelch. "Groups that Don't Want In: Gypsies and Other Artisan, Trader, and Entertainer Minorities". Annual Review of Anthropology, Vol. 15, (1986), p. 317.
  2. ^ Paul R. Magocsi. Encyclopedia of Canada's peoples. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999. p. 644.
  3. ^ The Encyclopedia Americana. Grolier, 1981. p. 650.
  4. ^ "Rom Baro". Black Forest Shires & Gypsy Horses. Retrieved 2014-02-15. 
  5. ^ "Parker CO Horse Show". Black Forest Shires & Gypsy Horses. Retrieved 2014-02-15. 
  6. ^ Lee, Ronald (Spring 1997). "The Rom-Vlach Gypsies and the Kris-Romani", The American Journal of Comparative Law 45 (2): 345–392.