Dhimsa

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Dhimsa dance is a dance of young and old, men and women of Valmiki, Bagata, Khond and Kotia tribes living in the enchanting Araku Valley in the hilly tracts of Vishakhapatam district. A monthly magazine is published by the name of Dhimsa in Telugu language. Tribals dance during the months of Chaitra i.e. March/April, on weddings and other festivities. During the festivals dancers of one village visit the other to participate in the dance and join the community feast. Such dances are known as “Sankidi Kelbar”. The unique feature of Dhimsa dance is that it chanalises friendship and fraternity between the people of different villages. This being traditionally a tribal dance, the women folk attired in typical tribal dress and ornaments dance in group to the tune of Mori, Kiridi, Tudumu, Dappu and Jodukommulu.

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Dhimsa had branched off to eight different categories of dances. Boda Dimsa is a worship dance in honour of village goddess. Men on the right and women on the left form two rows and hold one another firmly in their hands the backs. The first man in the right row with a bunch of peacock feathers in hand in rhythmical steps takes the lead while the last person in the left row joins him. Then all dancers to the sounds of anklets move zigzag in a serpent dance in a circle crying “Hari” and “Hui” return to the rows. In Gunderi dimsa or Usku Dimsa a male dancer while singing sends invitation to the females to dance with him. 

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Thereafter, the male and female with firm steps move forward and backward stride in a circle. In Goddi Beta Dimsa the dancers bending forward and rising up with a swing go about twenty-five steps and return in the same manner four to five times. Potar-Tola Dimsa dance symbolizes the picking up leaves. Half of the dancers stand side by side in a row, while the rest stand behind the first row in same manner and keep their hands on shoulders of dancers standing before. Turning their heads to right and left the two rows march forward and backward. Bhag Dimsa is a dance of art as to how to escape from a tigers attack. Half of the dancers form a circle holding hand in hand. They stand on their toes, bowing and raising their heads. Moving round swiftly, the rest enter the circle and form a “serpent Coil”. This is repeated several times.

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Natikari Dimsa is a solo dance danced by the Valmikis on Dewali festival in particular. Kunda Dimsa is dance where the dancers push each other with their shoulders while swinging rhythmically. Baya Dimsa dance is the dance of tribal magician when he is possessed by the village goddess.

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All the villagers with their hands bowed down imitate the “Ganachari”. This continues till the magician returns to normalcy Dimsa dances exhibit community unity without discremination. These dance forms essentially amplifying their ways of life belong to their cultural heritage. Even though things have changed much, yet the hillmen had retained their traditions unspoilt. Though their dances cannot be included into any classical forms, yet they conform to the rhythm of either “Aditala” or “Rupakatala”.

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