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Each band is led by a voivode, whom the families elect for lifetime. A senior woman in the band, called a phuri dai, looks after the welfare of the group's women and children.
Smaller alliances, called vitsas, are formed within the bands and are made up of families who are brought together through common ancestry.
Because of their outsider status and migratory nature, few attended school and literacy was not widespread.
Some of this has been documented in the American show "My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding." Hierarchy Traditionally, anywhere from 10 to several hundred extended families form bands, or kumpanias, which travel together in caravans.Also, as a matter of survival, the Romani were continuously on the move.They developed a reputation for a nomadic lifestyle and a highly insular culture.It is now thought that the Roma people migrated to Europe from India about 1,500 years ago.Often, many groups are lumped together into the classification of "Gypsy." The Romani people can include ethnic groups who are spread out all over the world, according to Open Society Foundations.