The publication of this outstanding book marks the beginning of the Brill book series Roma History and Culture. The core of the present volume is an until now unpublished manuscript by Shakir Pashov (1898-1981), a Bulgarian Roma activist whose name continues to be surrounded by rumours and myths. The volume includes the original manuscript of Shakir Pashov on the history of the Gypsies in Europe, followed by archival documents highlighting his life and work, and the text of the first booklet devoted to him, which was the first attempt to create a Roma historical narrative. There is also included an extended biography of Shakir Pashov as known by now. The book contributes to identifying and highlighting the numerous inputs Roma have had to shape their activism and popularise their historical knowledge. Pashov's manuscript is a prominent example of these efforts.
This is the first monograph on the history of the Rudari people of Romania and the first mapping of their settlements. The Rudari are a population which has traditionally inhabited the Balkan area and much of Central Europe. Many of them do not know the Romani language but speak Romanian dialects and today make a living out of carving wooden household items, although their Slavic name alludes to mining. Indeed, the Rudari were for centuries gold-prospectors and gold-washers working for the Crown of Wallachia and were administrated as slaves by a monastery situated on the auriferous Olt river. The authors have reconstructed the fascinating history of this ethnic group for a period of 500 years until the 19th century when gold-panning went in decline due to the exhaustion of the reserves of alluvial gold.