The Calé Romanies in Spain and Abroad: A History of Survival

  • December 7, 2023
  • Dallas, TX


Mozos de escuadra by Carlos Vázquez Úbeda (Spanish, 1869-1944), 1906.

In this in-person lecture at the Meadows Museum, Ian Hancock (University of Texas, Austin) will provide an overview of the history, language, and culture of the Romani people and their lives in Spain since their first arrival in the fifteenth century.

There are some fourteen million Romani people worldwide, of whom about one million live in Spain, where they are known as the Calé. The Calé are widely associated with flamenco, an Andalusian art form that grew out of traditional Romani music and dance.

Less well known is their tumultuous and often troubled history, from their origins in the Indian subcontinent to their victimization during the Inquisition and the Spanish government’s policy of forced migration to the New World, known as the solución americana.

This lecture is offered in connection with the Meadows Museum’s recent acquisition of Carlos Vázquez Úbeda’s 1906 Mozos de Escuadra (Catalan Police Arresting a Romani Couple) and provides an overview of Romani culture in Spain.

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The lecture is free for members, SMU students and faculty/staff; $10 for the general public.