This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages) This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Dimasa people" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (October 2020) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) This article is written like a personal reflection, personal essay, or argumentative essay that states a Wikipedia editor's personal feelings or presents an original argument about a topic. Please help improve it by rewriting it in an encyclopedic style. (September 2020) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Dimasa Kachari
Barman Dimasa Girl.jpg
Barman Dimasa girl while performing Baidima, the traditional dance of Dimasa.
Total population
262,413 (2011 Census)
Regions with significant populations
 India (Assam)142,961 (2011, Dimasa-Kachari,in hill districts of Assam only)[1]

The Dimasa people (local pronunciation: [dimāsā]) are an ethnolinguistic community presently inhabiting in Assam and Nagaland states in Northeastern India. They speak Dimasa, a Tibeto-Burman language. This community is fairly homogeneous and exclusive, with members required to draw from both parents' separate clans. Dimasa kingdom, one of many early states in Assam following the downfall of Kamarupa kingdom, was established by these people.[5] The Dimasas were till recently agricultural, centering on shifting agriculture; but in recent times this has changed with profound changes in the community.[6] Following political problems in the 18th century, the Dimasa ruler moved further south in the plains of Cachar and there took place a division among them–with the hills Dimasa maintaining their traditional living and political exclusiveness, the plains Dimasas have made no attempt to assert themselves.[7]

Ancient Dimasa tradition maintains that sixty thousand (60,000) Moon months (Lunar months) ago, they left their ancestral land when it suffered a severe drought. After long wandering, they settled at Di-laobra Sangibra, the confluence of the Brahmaputra and Sangi or Di-tsang, where they held a great assembly.[8]

The Dimasa

The Dimasas form a "sealed" society—every member drawing his or her patriarchal lineage from one of the forty two male clans (sengphong—"holder of the sword") and the matriarchal lineage from one of the forty-two female clans (jalik or julu).[9] These clans are distributed among twelve territorial "sacred groves" called daikhos. The Dimasas are one of the oldest inhabitants of the Northeastern part of India and is one of the many Kachari tribes. They live mostly in Dima Hasao District, an administrative autonomous district of the Indian state of Assam that includes the ravines of the Jatinga Valley and Dhansiri Valley, Diphu City and Howraghat region of Karbi Anglong district (East), West Karbi Anglong, Kampur region of Nagaon district, Hojai district, Cachar district, Hailakandi district, Karimganj district of Assam and Dimapur district of Nagaland and parts in Jiribam district of Manipur respectively.

It stands for Di-ma-sa meaning sons of big waters[10] referring to Brahmaputra river (known as Dilao in Dimasa). Kacharis appear to be one of the earliest indigenous ethnic groups of northeastern India. They are a part of the greater Bodo-Kachari family of ethnolinguistic groups of Northeast India which includes Boro, Tripuri, Rabha, Garo, Tiwa, Koch, Moran etc. peoples of northeast india. They speak Dimasa language a Boro-Garo language of the Tibeto-Burman family.

Dimasa men are divided into 40 patriarchal clans. These are:[11][12]


Distribution of Dimasa, as reported in the Language Survey of India 1903
Distribution of Dimasa, as reported in the Language Survey of India 1903
Baroduwar Dimasa Kachari Palace, Khaspur in Cachar dist
Baroduwar Dimasa Kachari Palace, Khaspur in Cachar dist
Architectural stones inscription of Dimasa King Naranarayan Hasnusa at Maibang
Architectural stones inscription of Dimasa King Naranarayan Hasnusa at Maibang


This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources in this section. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (September 2020) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Religion among Dimasas of Assam (2011)[13]
Religion Percent

According to the 2011 Census of India, more than 99% of all Dimasa living in Assam are Hindu.[14]


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.[15]


Since 1994 as per the decision of Dimasa community of Dima Hasao, the Autonomous Council of Dima Hasao had officially declared 27 January as Busu Dima festival day.[16]

Dress and ornaments


The male Dimasa use only two types of ornaments namely Yaocher and Kharik.

Females use:[17]


The dance forms of the Dimasa Kachari are complex in character.[19]

Any Dimasa dance is called Baidima ( Bai-means dance, Dima-means Dimasa).[20]

See also


  1. ^ "ST-14 Scheduled Tribe Population By Religious Community - Assam". Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  2. ^ "639 Identifier Documentation: aho – ISO 639-3". SIL International (formerly known as the Summer Institute of Linguistics). SIL International. Retrieved 29 June 2019. Ahom [aho]
  3. ^ "Population by Religious Communities". Census India – 2001. Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. Retrieved 1 July 2019. Census Data Finder/C Series/Population by Religious Communities
  4. ^ "Population by religion community – 2011". Census of India, 2011. The Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Archived from the original on 25 August 2015. 2011census/C-01/DDW00C-01 MDDS.XLS
  5. ^ "Another local kingdom ... was that of the Dimasas in the north Cachar hills. They were known to the Ahoms as Timisa, clearly a corruption of Dimasa..." (Shin 2020:61)
  6. ^ (Ramirez 2007:94)
  7. ^ " Culturally speaking, present-day Cachar Dimasa can hardly be distinguished from the Bengali majority and they seem to make little attempt politically to assert their identity. In the hills, however, Dimasa remained demographically dominant whilst cohabiting with Hmar-Kukis and Zemi Nagas." (Ramirez 2007:93)
  8. ^ Baruah, Manjeet (29 November 2020), "Buranjis and Sankari Culture: Language and Narrative in Pre-colonial Textual Traditions", Frontier Cultures, Routledge India, pp. 41–75, doi:10.4324/9781003157281-4, ISBN 9781003157281, S2CID 229455719, retrieved 25 November 2021
  9. ^ (Ramirez 2007:2007)
  10. ^ (Ramirez 2007:93)
  11. ^ Surnames, Dimasa (25 April 2021). "Dimasa language surnames | Dimasa surnames list or last name". Archived from the original on 21 December 2020. Retrieved 25 April 2021.
  12. ^ Monograph Series, Census of India (1961). Dimasa Kacharis of Assam (PDF). New Delhi: Government of India.
  13. ^ "ST-14 Scheduled Tribe Population By Religious Community - Assam". Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  14. ^ Table ST-14, Census of India 2001
  15. ^ Haflongbar, Sangeeta; De, Aparajita (1 December 2017). "Traditional Knowledge of Plant Classification among Dimasa Tribe of Dima Hasao District, Assam, India". Nelumbo. 59 (1): 71. doi:10.20324/nelumbo/v59/2017/115986. ISSN 0976-5069. S2CID 134950348.
  16. ^ "Dimasa Cachari", Tribal Architecture in Northeast India, BRILL, pp. 53–55, 1 January 2014, doi:10.1163/9789004263925_007, ISBN 9789004263925, retrieved 25 November 2021
  17. ^ "Facebook". Retrieved 25 April 2021.
  18. ^ "JPAM Doctoral Dissertation Listing 2016". Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. 36 (3): 713–735. 23 May 2017. doi:10.1002/pam.22001. ISSN 0276-8739.
  19. ^ Dance, Baidima. "Baidima Dance | Dimasa Traditional Dance | Baidima Folk Dance of Assam - Traditional Folk Dances of India". Archived from the original on 25 April 2021. Retrieved 25 April 2021.
  20. ^ Janssen, Rosalind (1 February 2021). "The Pleated Dress of Nywty". PalArch's Journal of Archaeology of Egypt / Egyptology. 17 (1): 1–11. doi:10.48080/jae.v17i1.3. ISSN 1567-214X. S2CID 234010733.


  • Annexure - Ib: List of Notified Scheduled Tribes (PDF) (Report). Census of India. 2011. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  • Jacquesson, François (2008). "Discovering Boro-Garo" (PDF). History of an Analytical and Descriptive Linguistic Category.
  • Bareh, H. Gazetteer of India
  • Barman, N. K. Queen of Cachar of Herambo and the History of the Kachchhari
  • Barpujari, S. K. (ed) (1997) History of the Dimasas: from the earliest times to 1896 AD, Haflong: Autonomous Council, N.C. Hills District (Assam) .
  • Bathari, Uttam (2014). Memory History and polity a study of dimasa identity in colonial past and post colonial present (PhD). Gauhati University. hdl:10603/115353.
  • Bhattacharjee, J. B. (1992), "The Kachari (Dimasa) state formation", in Barpujari, H. K. (ed.), The Comprehensive History of Assam, vol. 2, Guwahati: Assam Publication Board, pp. 391–397
  • Bordoloi, B. N. (1988) The Dimasa Kachari, Tribal Research Institute of Assam, Guwahati.
  • Danda, D. (1989) The Dimasa Kacharis of Assam, Concept Publishing co. New Delhi.
  • Gait, Edward A. (1906) A History of Assam, Calcutta 1906.
  • Rhodes, N. G. and Bose, S. K. (2006) A History of the Dimasa Kacharis - As Seen through Coinage New Delhi : Mira Basu Publishers.
  • Roy, Babul (1998) "Socio-Cultural and Environmental Dimensions of Tribal Health: A Study among the Dimasa Kacharis and the Zeme Nagas of N. C. Hills in Assam" Ph. D. Thesis (Unpublished), Gauhati University, Guwahati, Assam (India).
  • Roy, Babul (2000) "Medical Pluralism and Pattern of Acceptance of Medicine among the Dimasa Kacharis of Assam" The Journal of Human Ecology. Kamal-Raj Pub., Delhi.
  • Roy, Babul (2002) "Descent groupings, belief system and social structure among the Dimasa Kacharies of Assam", Man in India, Vol.82,No.1&2.
  • Ramirez, Ramirez (2007), "Politico-ritual variations on the Assamese fringes: Do social systems exist?", in Sadan, Mandy; Robinne., François (eds.), Social Dynamics in the Highlands of Southeast Asia Reconsidering Political Systems of Highland Burma, Boston: Brill, pp. 91–107
  • Shin, Jae-Eun (2020). "Descending from demons, ascending to kshatriyas: Genealogical claims and political process in pre-modern Northeast India, The Chutiyas and the Dimasas". The Indian Economic and Social History Review. 57 (1): 49–75. doi:10.1177/0019464619894134. S2CID 213213265.