Adilabad: Gonds get ready for Dandari-Gussadi fete

Ganesh and Laxman
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Ganesh and Laxman

Highlights

While towns and cities in Telangana are into festive mood and are preparing for Deepavali, the tribals of erstwhile Adilabad district are busy in preparations for the Dandari-Gussadi festival

Adilabad: While towns and cities in Telangana are into festive mood and are preparing for Deepavali, the tribals of erstwhile Adilabad district are busy in preparations for the Dandari-Gussadi festival.

Till past few years, preparations for this festival used to begin four months in advance. The tribals worship Yethmasarpe or God of Soul. They revere Goddess Jangubai by playing musical instruments such as Dappu, Ghumela, Dhol, Vetti, Karra and Thudem in front of the deity.

These instruments are now almost extinct from the markets. The tribals are also getting influenced by modern technology and will be using DJ music systems and other such modern musical gadgets during the fete now.

This year the celebrations will begin on October 25, the day they see a crescent moon and end on the dark moon day. The festival kick starts with the performing of Sakshe Akadi and ends on the Devadi day.

Once the Akadi is performed, the tribals would start the celebrations and the festive spirit continues for the entire week. Traditionally, Gonds and Kolam tribes observe courtship dance festival during Dandari-Gussadi fete. During the festive season, the Dandari-Gussadi dance troupes tour the tribal villages, stay there overnight, and perform traditional rituals.

The tribals also visit Padmalpuri Khako Shrine situated at Gudirevu village in Dandapalli mandal in Mancherial district on the banks of Godavari river and present offerings to the river.

Men become Gussadi tados and perform unique rituals. The dancers wear Gussadi topi, made of peacock feathers, locally known as mal boora and form a dance troupe called Dandari. These dance troupes will visit neighbouring villages after being invited by the community elders, patels of their community.

Speaking to The Hans India, Tudum Debba president Godem Ganesh said that earlier Gussadi festival dance practices and celebrations begin four months before Deepavali and now it confined to a week or 10 days, he said.

Naitham Laxman, Dandari-Gussadi dancer of Jawahar Nagar of Gudihathnur mandal, said the Dandari–Gussadi festival is one of the most significant festivals of the tribals. It is celebrated in all tribal gudems (villages) in Adilabad, Asifabad and in some parts of Mancherial and Nirmal districts.

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