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.
Julieta Rotaru teaches at the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales, Paris. She has a multidisciplinary approach (philology, ethnology, history) with contributions to the history of Romani communities from Romania. David Gaunt is Professor emeritus in history at the Södertörn högskola, Stockholm, with extensive research on family and household forms in a comparative European perspective and mass-violence in the late Ottoman Empire.