In Romani communities in the United States and some areas of Europe, 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. 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.
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".
- 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.
- Paul R. Magocsi. Encyclopedia of Canada's peoples. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999. p. 644.
- The Encyclopedia Americana. Grolier, 1981. p. 650.
- Lee, Ronald (Spring 1997). "The Rom-Vlach Gypsies and the Kris-Romani", The American Journal of Comparative Law 45 (2): 345–392.
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