Keba Kouznelas was born in Serbia in 1940 and grew up in Serbia and Croatia. His ancestors had migrated from Russia to Poland and from there to Serbia. His father was born in Tbilisi (Georgia), his brother in Poland. ‘Muro papo sas Kalderaši, o Burča, muři mami sas Lovarica, Veronka akhardjolas […]’ (‘My grandfather Burča was a Kalderash, my grandmother a Lovarica. Her name was Veronka […]’). In the 1970s his family was still in contact with his mother’s relatives in Athens.
Keba Kouznelas’ family finally settled in Belgrade. In the 1970s he often visited distant relatives in Vienna, who enthusiastically listened to his stories. Keba Kouznelas died many years ago.
Keba Kouznelas spoke several variants of Romani, not only that of his family Kalderash, but also a variant of the Sinti. He told his story (‘My trip to Debeljača’) while staying in Vienna. His idiolect is similar to the grammar and vocabulary of the Kalderash dialect and to the pronunciation of variants of the Lovara.