Sansi is a nomadic tribe (population ca. 60,000 in 2002 AD) originally located in the Rajasthan area of northwestern India, but expelled in the 13th century by Muslim invaders and now living in states of Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab as well as scattered throughout India.
Their language is Sansiboli, Sansi or Bhilki that is a highly endangered Indo-Aryan language of the Central group, total speakers ca. 60,000 (2002). Their traditional occupations vary, from trading to farming.
During British rule in India they were placed under Criminal Tribes Act 1871, hence stigmatized for a long time, after independence however they were denotified in 1952, though the century old stigma continues.
According to several scholars, Maharaja Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the great ruler of Punjab, and the most powerful Indian ruler just before British raj, was from the gypsy tribe of Sansis. The origin of these Sansi gypsies is traced to Bhati Rajputs.
- Ethnologue.com: Ethnologue report for Sansi
- Language in India: Endangered Language: A Case Study of Sansiboli
- Punjab - Police and Jails The Imperial Gazetteer of India, 1908, v. 20, p. 363.
- Bania Arrested for Spying by Dilip D'Souza. Rediff.com, January 18, 2003
- P. 237 Journal of Social Research By Council of Social and Cultural Research (Bihar, India), Ranchi University Dept. of Anthropology
- P. 193 Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics Part 21 By James Hastings
- The Sansis of Punjab; a Gypsy and De-notified Tribe of Rajput Origin, Maharaja Ranjit Singh- The Most Glorious Sansi, pp 13, By Sher Singh, 1926-, Published by , 1965, Original from the University of Michigan
- Tribalism in India, pp 160, By Kamaladevi Chattopadhyaya, Edition: illustrated, Published by Vikas, 1978, Original from the University of Michigan
- Sociological Bulletin,pp 97, By Indian Sociological Society, Published by Indian Sociological Society., 1952
- Indian Librarian edited by Sant Ram Bhatia,pp 220, Published by , 1964 Item notes: v.19-21 1964-67, Original from the University of Michigan
- "Two, Ranjit Singh who seemingly got “total ascendancy” in Punjab was not a Jat but a Sansi...", Sangat Singh, MCLEOD AND FENECH AS SCHOLARS ON SIKHISM AND MARTYRDOM, Presented in International Sikh conferences 2000 , www.globalsikhstudies.net
- The Sikhs in History, pp 92, By Sangat Singh, Edition: 2, Published by S. Singh, 1995, Original from the University of Michigan
- Journal of the Gypsy Lore Society , Page 114, Gypsy Lore Society - 1912
- The History of the Panjab, Page 335, Syed Muhamad Latif, Calcutta, Central Press Company, Limited, 1891
- Sir Lepel Griffin, Punjab Chiefs, Vol. 1, p 219 "...and from Sansi the Sindhanwalias and the Sansis have a common descent. The Sansis were the thievish and degraded tribe [sic] and the house of Sindhanwalia naturally feeling ashamed of its Sansi name invented a romantic story to account for it. But the relationship between the nobles and the beggars, does not seem the less certain and if history of Maharaja Ranjit Singh is attentively considered it will appear that much his policy and many of his actions had the true Sansi complexion"