Gabor Gypsies, even the poorest of them, are considered as the aristocratic caste of Roma community in Transylvania and they live in settled communities.
Tourism is finally recovering in Transylvania after Covid so during 2022 I again lead several private tours for American, Swiss, English, etc tourists in different Transylvanian Gabor Gypsies Roma communities. I learned once more that in a completely globalized word relying on internet and technology the occidental tourists interest for this eclectic, ultra-traditionalist community is actually growing.
Gabor women always wearing their folk costume with long very colorful skirts will never go unnoticed, and actually most of the tourists questions are related to women of this community not the men.
I will share with you several insights I have learned about the women of this community while leading tours throughout the years, with a very important notice, that they do not apply to all the members of Gabor Gypsy communities in Transylvania.
- A Gabor Gypsy Girl will never cut her hair throughout her life. Until she is married her hair will always be embroidered with red ribbons to keep the evil eye away.
- A married Gabor woman will always have her head covered with a scarf. During the wedding ceremony her husband will cover her head for the first time and from that moment onwards, for the rest of her life no other man is allowed to see her hair apart from her husband.
- In Gabor Culture a woman is supposed to expose as little of her skin as possible. That is why even during the hottest summer days they will usually wear the long sleeved blouses.
- All Gabor girls go to school at least till the age of 10 – 11 years old, when they are taken out of school. Usually the boys keep studying till the age of 14 or later.
- Girls get married very young somewhere between 12 and 16 years old. After the marriage the young Gabor girl will always move into groom`s house and continue to live with her parents in law. Interestingly, the young couple live together in the boy`s parents house and they are treated more as brother and sister than husband and wife during the firsts years especially when they are very young.
- Arranged marriages still exists today based on Gabor cast system similar with the one in India. Wealth and rank are not synonyms, rank is inherited, every family want to marry into a higher class and they are also willing to pay for this.
- If the bride is homesick or simply she can`t integrate into her husband`s family she is allowed to return home to her parent`s house.
- The Gabor marriage can be dissolved if the couple does not produce any male offspring.
- A Gabor woman will always stay at home with the children, she will never have any kind of job throughout her life. Usually a Gabor woman around the age of 35 will be a grandmother and around the age of 50 she will be a great grandmother.
- Most of Gabor marriages have nothing to do with the state or church. They are agreements between families.
If you you are interested in learning more about the Gabor Gypsies Roma of Transylvania a smart idea would be to book a private “Discover Gabor Gypsies” tour.