I just built my first Roamer character and while I didn't use the suggested naming conventions, or the ones I dug up for the Roma and related peoples, it did prompt the question - why Cossack and Egyptian names when Roma, Gitano and Traveller names are available?
When I wrote that, I had just beed reading about some of the few remaining nomadic cultures, in the Coassack areas of the world. Sadly I can't find the reference any more. Roamers who merely wanted to make people think their families were nomadic might pick Egypitian names (from the old "gypsies are from egypt" misconception). I did want to make it clear that the Roamers weren't just "Space Gypsies," so I stayed away from Roma names because of that. I'd rather have the Roamers be culture thieves than to misrepresent a real-world culture.
Most Roma are no longer nomadic anyway. It might be part of their history, but it's usually not part of their modern lives.
Oh, trust me, I could give you the whole lecture on Rroma and not being nomadic. I was a student of linguistics at the University of Texas. In case you didn't know, Prof. Ian Hancock is the representative to the united nations for the Rromani Nation, and is a professor of linguistics at the University of Texas. I know that lecture in spades.
Can you give a thumbnail version for the ignorant?
I'm rummaging through my local college library catalog and paperbackswap.com and having terrible luck - it looks like anything by Dr. Hancock will be an ILL special.
Well, firstly, Rroma aren't culturally nomadic - they're nomadic because Europeans hate them. (Don't call them Gypsies, either.)
Secondly, Rroma are actually from India. It's been so conclusively proven that India has passed a law offering citizenship and status in the Kshatriya caste to anybody who can prove Rromani descent (note - they don't have to prove direct lineage to India as that's already been proven to the satisfaction of the Indian government).
Thirdly, Rroma are mostly sedentary now. Because of UN actions, and the political backlash of Nicolae Ceauşescu's actions against the Rromani people, they've been able to settle in some parts of Europe, but they're especially able to settle in the US.
Fourthly, Travelers aren't Rroma. They're native Irish. They have some history together, and some marriage between them, but they're not Rrom.
EDIT: Oh, and Dr. Hancock mostly writes linguistics textbooks, or textbooks on Rromani language, especially Vlax Rromani, of which he is a native speaker.
Well, after rummaging through Wikipedia (let's here it for printing the page - more likely to survive the infant's interference), I came to more or less the same thing as Pneumonica stated above.
It looks more like the Roamers, for whatever reason, adopted the image, myths and stereotypes of the Romani, Travellers and others and took them in a different direction.
Well, I learned something new today. I'll raid the library for Roma and Gypsy-Travellers in Europe: modernity, race, space and exclusion and Bury Me Standing.
Can you suggest any books written from the perspective of the Rromani? I'm trying to broaden my viewpoint.
Edited for spelling.
Unfortunately I can't. The only printed textbooks in the class were a small primer on the Rromani language by Dr. Hancock himself and a bunch of materials photocopied from various sources and spiral bound at Kinkos. Normally I don't like it when professors sell their own textbooks to students, but in this case there's such a dearth of material that I didn't mind it. I think Roma and Gypsy was another source we used, but I can't remember exactly. If you want notes about the language (or to try to find other books by Dr. Hancock), go to Amazon.com for Handbook of Vlax Romani (Romanian dialect of Rromani, most commonly spoken).
EDIT: To his credit, the primary source for the photocopies was Pariah Syndrome which is also by him.
EDIT 2: His work on Creole and other "hybrid languages" (which are also called "creoles") is actually really neat if you're into linguistics.
Only into linguistics in a minor way - in support of history and anthropology, I'm afraid. I'll see if my alumni priveleges can net me a copy of the Pariah Syndrome.
Pneumonica - thank you. That was very kind of you take the time to explain and educate me. I appreciate it.