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Roast Chicken and other Gypsy Stories

Oral Narratives among Serbian Gypsies


Jelena Cvorovic

This book discusses narrative as an adaptive cultural mechanism among Gypsies in Serbia. As a key traditional trait of Serbian Gypsies, storytelling, conveyed along kin generations, influences the behavior of all who listen. Since their appearance in the Balkans centuries ago, an insecure social environment has shaped their cultural traditions, including that of storytelling. Their traditional stories reaffirm the strong identity with their kinship group, yet, at the same time, plead loudly for recognition from outsiders. The success achieved by Gypsies in maintaining themselves and their culture can be attributed, in large measure, to the power of their traditional stories.

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