DIMA HASAO DISTRICT
The Tribes of Dima Hasao District
The Dimasa Kacharis :
The Kacharis are the most widely spread tribe in northeast India. They
are said to be the earliest inhabitants of the Brahmaputra Valley. The Kacharis
belong to the Indo-Mongoloid (Kirata) group which include the Bodos and
their allied tribes. They have prominent Mongoloid features with high cheek
bones, slit eyes and a slight growth of hair in the body and scant beard. They
call themselves Bodo or Bodo-fisa in the Brahmaputra valley and
Dimasa or Dima-fisa or ‘sons of the great river’ in the North Cachar Hills &
Karbi- Anglong district.
The Dimasa Kacharis greatly inhabit the northern
half of the Dima Hasao District and ravines of the Jatinga valley and the
The Dimasas believe in the existence of a supreme
being Madai – Under whom there are several Madais including family deities and
evil spirits. The religious practices of the Dimasas are reflected in their
Daikho system. A Daikho has a presiding deity with a definite territorial
jurisdiction and a distinct group of followers known as Khel. Every Dimasa
Kachari family worships its ancestral deity once a year before sowing the next
paddy. It is known as Madai
Khelimba. This is done for the general welfare of the family. And Misengba is
for the good of the whole community. They cremate their dead. The dead body is
washed and dressed in new clothes, the corpse is placed inside the house on a
mat. A fowl is thrashed to death and placed at the foot of the deceased so that
it might show the deceased the right path to heaven. The widow does not tie
their hair till cremation. The dead body is cremated by the side of a river
The Dimasa have a tendency to build their houses on
hill slopes with a river or streamlet flowing nearby. The dwelling houses are
built on plinth of earth – in two rows facing each other with a sufficiently
wide gap in between.
An important institution of the village is Hangsao.
It is an association of unmarried boys and girls of the village. It is organized
for the purpose of working together in cultivation and lasts only for one year.
Throughout the year, the members of the Hangsao work together in the Jhums
cutivating by rotation an area of land at every member’s field.
Music and dance play an important role in the
day-to-day life of the Dimasa Kacharis. They sing and dance expressing their joy
at the youth common houses ‘Nadrang’ or at the courtyard of the ‘Gajaibaou’s
house in popular common festival like Bushu or Hangsao – manauba. The female
owner of the house, where the Bushu festival is held, is called
By using their traditional musical
instruments like Muri, Muri-wathisa, Supin Khram, Khramdubung, they present
their traditional dances named – Baidima, Jaubani, Jaupinbani, Rennginbani,
Baichargi, Kunlubani, Daislelaibani, Kamauthaikim Kaubani, Nanabairibani,
Baururnjla, Kailaibani, Homaudaobani, Rongjaobani, Dausipamaikabani, Daudngjang,
Nowaijang, Dailaibani, Narimbani, Rogidaw bihimaiyadaw, Maijaobani, Maisubanai,
Richibbani, Michai bonthai jibnai, Homojing ladaibani, Berma charao paibani,
Mangusha bondaibani, Madaikalimbani etc.
The males put on the traditional dresses like
richa, rikaosa, paguri rimchau and rimchaoramai to perform the folk dances. The
females put on Rigu, rijamfini, rijamfinaberen, rikaucha, rikhra, jingsudu etc.
and wear ornaments like Kaudima, Khadu, Kamautai, Longbar, Panlaubar.
Chandraral, Rongbarcha, Enggrasa, Jongsama, Ligjao, Jingbri, Yausidam etc.
The dance forms of the Dimasa Kacharis are complex in character. They are strictly dependent on instrumental music. No songs are used. Khram (drum) follows the rhythm of the Muri (fife) and so also the dancers. Though one may find the music trilling from Muri to be monotonous, but there are variations with noticeable microtones for different dance forms. That is why young men practice dancing at Nadrang during leisure hours and the village kids follow the rhythm and stepping at a distance from an early age.
THIS WEBSITE HAS BEEN DESIGNED & DEVELOPED BY N.I.C., DIMA HASAO DISTRICT UNIT ON BEHALF OF DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION, DIMA HASAO, ASSAM