Dimasa Old Testament
Population: 111,650 (2001 census)

The Dimasa people are part of the greater Kachari group—one of the ancient Kachari tribes. They live mostly in the northern half of the Dima Hasao District, an administrative district of the Indian state of Assam that includes the ravines of the Jatinga valley and adjoining land. The name 'Dimasa' most probably stands for "children of the big river," referring to the Brahmaputra. Kacharis appear to be one of the earliest indigenous ethnic groups of north eastern India. Most independent tribal communities in this region are of Kachari origin. The Boro, Rabha, Sonowal, Thengal, Dimasa, Garo, Hajong, Deori, Sutiya, Tiwa or Lalung, Hojai, Barman of Kachar, Trippra, mech, rukkini barman of hailakandi and karimganj etc. are all of Kachari origin.

 In Dimasa, the village system is called Nohlai meaning a cluster of houses and the whole village with its population is called Raji. Dimasa tend to live on river banks and next to streams. Some Dimasa Kachari villages are also  on hills, with thirty to fifty, though sometimes (rarely) as many as four hundred houses. The houses are built in two facing rows. Each families in a village has a few fruit trees—like Guava, mango, Jack fruit, plantain and others.

The traditional village headman, who is at the top of the village administration, is a Khunang. He has both executive and judiciary powers. He is assisted by another official called the Dillik (Assistant Headman). Next to him is Daulathu who occupies the third place. Next to the Daulathu is the Haphaisgao, who holds office for two years. Other village officials include Phrai, Montri, Hangsbukhu, and Jalairao.

Economy: Agricultural is the principal occupation and main source of livelihood of the Diamsa Kacharis. Dimasa were compelled to adopt shifting cultivation, commonly known as jhum, in hilly areas. Tracts of plains land suitable for permanent cultivation lying here and there between the ridges are very few. The Dimasa mainly cultivate maize, sesame, cotton and others. Many Dimasa families cultivate pineapples, oranges, cotton and mustards to a limited extent. In the jhum site itself a house to store the harvested paddy is erected and this house is called Mandu. Biba’s meaning is to be applied to a boys and girls to carry the paddy to his own house from the keeping Mandu.

Custom: As Dimasa Kachari have both male clan and female clans their law inheritance is somewhat peculiar in nature. The Dimasa have a patriarchal society. But in spite of that they have three types of property namely paternal property, maternal property and common property. The paternal property consists of real estates, weapons, cash money and the cattle. The maternal or mothers property consists of jewellery, clothes and looms with their accessories used by the mother. The common property consists of the cooking utensil, brass-metal dishes and bowls and other household equipment. According to the customary law of inheritance of the Dimasa, while the paternal property is inherited by the sons, the maternal property is inherited by the daughters and common property is shared by the sons and daughters equally.

Dress & Ornaments:

The Females wear

1.RIJAMPHAIN: white Colour cloth with worn from chest to knees; 2.RIJAMPHAIN BEREN (RAMAI): Chest wrapper with Stripes of Bright Colours like white,Green (sometimes deep blue),Black,Yellow (sometimes orange) and red,Worn only in special occasions (marriage,Dance,Festivals).3.RIGU: Wrapper or Lower Garment Worn from Waist to ankle. it can be Of various colours.4.RIKHAOSA: A Muffler Either of Yellow, green or white in colour worn above the Chest wrapper. it can be also Taken by the males.5.RIGU-SET: It is introduced recently due to influence of mainstream culture,It is Dimasa mekhela Chadar,consisting of "Rigu" (Lower garement Worn from Waist to ankle.) and "set" which is same piece of cloth that is drapped like Indian saree.It can be of any colour.6.BATHORMAI: Kind of Rigu which has only one particular design,it can be of different colours,worn from waist to till knees

The Males wear

 1.SGAOPHA (Phagri): Dimasa males wear turban in a head called “Phagri” or "Sgaopha", Phagri are of either green or yellow but in times of marriages or dance, the bridegroom or dancer wear white phagri tied with red ribbon to the chin.2.RIGDO: Short Muffler which can be of any colour. 3. RISHA:Short dhoti worn From waist to knee and sometimes taken as muffler also, Risha can be of different colours. 4.GAINTHAO: White Long Dhoti worn from Waist to Ankle 5. RIKHAOSA: long muffler taken by both men and women,it can be in the colours of white,green and yellow 6.RIENDI: Riendi even called Rithap. Chaddar or Shawl worn by men usually made from Endi/Eri silk of Silk worm. 7. REMSHAU: shawl only of colour either white or yellow with colourful design embedded in White background, this type of design is found only on Remshau) 8. MAGONG: shawl of various colour

Ornaments:

The male Dimasa use only two types of ornaments namely Yaocher and Kharik.
Females uses Following Ornaments:
PHOWAL: necklace made of expensive Coral and Real silver metal beads,it also worn by males JONGSAMA: Necklace made of micro-beads of any colour with Coral and silver beads in between. RANGBARSHA: Necklace made of coins. CHANDRAWAL: Necklace made of Three Silver Chain with Flowered shaped. RMAILIK: necklace made of Micro-beads, the colour pattern is same with the Rijamphain beren or Rmai ( Chest wrapper), LIKJAO: Necklace made of Red micro beads, LIKSHIM: Necklace made of black micro beads, KHADU: Heavy Silver bangle. KHAMAOTHAI: Silver/Gold earring. YAOSHIDAM: finger-Ring.

Dances


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 from Muri to be monotonous, 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 children follow the rhythm and stepping at a distance from an early age. (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Project status:

New Testament was released in 2005.
NT (re-edited) with PSS and proverbs was released in 2011
Translator(s):  Rev. Tar Choya  
Project Launched at the request of  Cachar Hill Tribe Synod (Presbyterian)   
The Church is contemplating for the translation of  Old Testament now.

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