Total population
2.2 million (estimated)[1]
Regions with significant populations
Balkans and Hungary, Eastern Anatolia Region, Middle East and North Africa
Domari (primarily),[2] Albanian, Arabic (also various dialects), Hebrew, Kurdish, Turkish
Christianity,[3] Judaism, Islam, irreligion[4]
Related ethnic groups
Ashkali and Balkan Egyptians,[4] Domba,[2] Ghorbati,[2] Lom,[2] Romani,[2] other Indo-Aryans[2]

The Dom (also called Domi; Arabic: دومي / ALA-LC: Dūmī, دومري / Dūmrī, Ḍom / ضوم or دوم, or sometimes also called Doms) are descendants of the Dom caste with origins in the Indian subcontinent which through ancient migrations are found scattered across the Middle East and North Africa, the Eastern Anatolia Region, and parts of the Balkans and Hungary.[2] The traditional language of the Dom is Domari, an endangered Indo-Aryan language, thereby making the Dom an Indo-Aryan ethnic group.[2][5]

The Doms were formerly grouped with other traditionally itinerant ethnic groups originating from medieval India: the Rom and Lom peoples.[2] However, these groups left India at different times and used different routes.[6] The Domari language has a separate origin in India from Romani,[2] and Doms are not closer to the Romani people than other Indians, such as Gujaratis.[7] Dom people do not identify themselves as Romanis.[8]


The Dom have an oral tradition and express their culture and history through music, poetry, and dance.[2] Initially, it was believed that they were a branch of the Romani people, but recent studies of the Domari language suggest that they departed from the Indian subcontinent[9] at different times and using different routes.[6]

Among the various Domari subgroups, they were initially part of Ghawazi who were known for their dancing and music business.[2] Some Muslim Roma may share Dom ancestry too, because in the travel book Seyahatnâme, written by the Ottoman Turkish traveller Evliya Çelebi in 1668, he explained that the Romani from Komotini (Gümülcine) believe that their ancestors originated in Ottoman Egypt.[10] Also the sedentary Romani groups from Serres region in Greece believe their ancestors were once taken from Ottoman Egypt by the Turks after 1517 to Rumelia, to work on the tobacco plantations of Turkish feudals that were based there.[11]

Muslim Roma settled in Baranya and the city of Pécs in southwestern Hungary. After the Siege of Pécs (1686), when the Habsburgs took it back, Muslim Roma and some other Muslim ethnic minorities abandoned Islam and converted to Christianity, choosing the Roman Catholic faith in the years 1686–1713.[3] The Ghagar, a subgroup of the Doms in Egypt, say that some of them went to Hungary.[12]


The Dom people, with an estimated population of 2.2 million, predominantly inhabit regions spanning Turkey, Egypt, Greece, Jordan, Palestine, Israel, Lebanon, Iraq, and Iran. The actual population is believed to surpass this estimate, given that some Dom individuals are left out of official national censuses, and others identify themselves using national labels rather than the term "Dom."[13]

There is a large concentration of Doms in Jordan, where they call themselves Bani Murra.[14] Researchers have written that "they accommodate Arab racism by hiding their ethnic identity", since they would not be accepted into Arab societies once their true identity is revealed due to the anti-Romani sentiment that is prevalent in the Arab world.[14]

See also


  1. ^ Maltby, Kate (June 2014). "Bordering isolation: Attitudes to minorities in Turkey". Index on Censorship. 43 (2): 62–66. doi:10.1177/0306422014536301. ISSN 0306-4220. S2CID 147052237.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Matras & Tenser 2020, pp. 14–17.
  3. ^ a b Die Baranya in den Jahren 1686 bis 1713: Kontinuität und Wandel in einem ...
  4. ^ a b Ismaili, Besa (2013). "Kosovo". In Nielsen, Jørgen S.; Akgönül, Samim; Alibašić, Ahmet; Racius, Egdunas (eds.). Yearbook of Muslims in Europe. Vol. 5. Leiden and Boston: Brill Publishers. pp. 369–381. doi:10.1163/9789004255869_025. ISBN 978-90-04-25586-9. ISSN 1877-1432.
  5. ^ Türki̇ye'de Rom, Dom Ve Lom Gruplarinin Görünümü
  6. ^ a b Hubschmannova, Milena; Kalinin, Valdemar; Kenrick, Donald (2000). Bakker, Peter; Kichukov, Khristo (eds.). What is the Romani language?. Centre de recherches tsiganes. p. 18. ISBN 1-902806-06-9. OCLC 45827711.
  7. ^ Hancock, Ian F. (2002). We are the Romani People. Centre de recherches tsiganes. p. 6. ISBN 978-1-902806-19-8. OCLC 52312737.
  8. ^ Özateşler, Gül (1 December 2013). "The "Ethnic Identification" Of Dom People In Diyarbakir". Journal of Modern Turkish History Studies. 13 (27): 279. ISSN 1300-0756.
  9. ^ Matras, Yaron (December 2012). "Domari". [romani] project. School of Languages, Linguistics, and Cultures The University of Manchester. Archived from the original on 20 November 2010. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
  10. ^ Friedman, Victor A.; Dankoff, Robert (1991). "The Earliest Text in Balkan (Rumelian) Romani: A Passage from Evliya Çelebi's Seyaḥât‑nâmeh" (PDF). Journal of the Gypsy Lore Society. Fifth Series. 1 (1): 1–20. ISSN 0017-6087. Archived (PDF) from the original on 19 November 2022 – via The University of Chicago.
  11. ^ Zachos, Dimitrios (2011). "Sedentary Roma (Gypsies): The case of Serres (Greece)". Romani Studies. 21: 23–56. doi:10.3828/rs.2011.2. S2CID 144321480 – via ResearchGate.
  12. ^ Capt. Newbold (1856). "The Gypsies of Egypt". The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. 16: 285–312. doi:10.1017/S0035869X00156382. JSTOR 25228684. S2CID 163220134. Retrieved 23 November 2023.
  13. ^ O'Haodha, Micheal (2 October 2009). Migrants and Memory: The Forgotten "Postcolonials". Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 86. ISBN 978-1-4438-1474-4.
  14. ^ a b Marsh, Adrian & Strand, Elin (red.) (2006). Gypsies and the Problem of Identities: Contextual, Constructed and Contested. Istanbul: Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul (Svenska forskningsinstitutet i Istanbul), p. 207