The term Chango (Csángó) is the name of a population whose ethnic origin has been the subject of much controversy. The term originates from the Magyar language in which it means “mixed” or “impure.” Most Changos live on the territory of Romania, the largest number in Moldavia. Many are bilingual, speaking Romanian and Magyar, and their religion is Catholic. This book makes an important contribution to the scholarly discussion of the origin of the Changos and sheds new light on the history of this little known, but fascinating people.
The only work on the subject written by a Chango scholar, this book disputes the theory that the Changos are of Magyar origin, a theory based to a large extent upon their Catholicism, demonstrating that they are, in fact, of Romanian origin. Dumitru Mărtinaș bases his argument on linguistic evidence, reaching the conclusion that “the study of the old Transylvanian dialect of the Changos illustrates and demonstrates the Transylvanian Romanian origin of the people who speak it.”
Reviews: “This densely argued study is presented in a dispassionate and scholarly manner, based in large measure on technical ethnographic, phonetic, and linguistic matters...” — P.W. Knoll, Choice.