Long fascinated with Romani history and culture, I was delighted to find some old photographs of Romani in the Spanish Basque Country wearing berets (whereas most Romani stick to rimmed hats).
There were a number of Romani tribes in the Basque Country and some still exist as ethnic groups. These were grouped together under the generic terms ijitiok (Egyptians) and buhameak (Bohemians) by Basque speakers.
- The Agotes (also known as Cagots) also were found north and south of the mountains. They lived as untouchables in Basque villages and were allowed to marry only among themselves. Their origin is unclear and has historically been surrounded with superstitions. Nowadays, they have mostly assimilated into the general society.
- The Cascarots were a Roma subgroup found mainly in the Northern Basque Country.
- A subgroup of Kalderash Roma resident in the Basque Country were the Erromintxela who are notable for speaking a rare mixed language. This is based on Basque grammar but using Romani-derived vocabulary.
- The Mercheros were Quinqui-speakers, travelling as cattle merchants and artisans. Following the industrialization, they settled in slums near big cities.