Romani people in Brazil

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The Romani people in Brazil are known by non-Romani ethnic Brazilians as ciganos (Portuguese pronunciation: [siˈɡɐ̃nus]), or alternatively by terms such as calés, calós, calons, boêmios, judeus (in Minas Gerais) and quicos (in Minas Gerais and São Paulo), in various degrees of accuracy of use and etymology as well as linguistic prestige.

As implied by some of their most common local names, most Brazilian Romani belong to the Iberian Kale (Kalos) group, like the fellow Lusophone Portuguese ciganos, and the Spanish Romani people, known as gitanos.

The 2011 estimate for Brazilian ciganos is about 800,000, or 0.41% of the country's population; there are concerns in Brazil about lack of public policy directed at this segment of the population.[1] It is the second largest Romani population in the world, after the United States. The first Brazilian president (1956 – 1961) of direct non-Portuguese Romani origin was Juscelino Kubitschek, 50% Czech Romani by his mother's bloodline. His term was marked by economic prosperity and political stability,[2] being most known by the construction of Brazil's new capital, Brasília. Nevertheless, Brazil already had a president of Portuguese Kale ancestry before Juscelino's term, Washington Luís.


  1. The Special Secretariat for the Promotion of Racial Equality estimates the number of "ciganos" (gypsies) in Brazil at 800,000 (2011). The 2010 IBGE Brazilian National Census encountered gypsy camps in 291 of Brazil's 5,565 municipalities."Falta de políticas públicas para ciganos é desafio para o governo". R7. 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-22.
  2. "HOMENAGEADOS › JUSCELINO KUBITSCHEK". Centro Cultural Oscar Niemeyer (in Portuguese). Retrieved 22 February 2015.

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