Tribal hamlets across undivided Adilabad are being filled with rhythmic drum beats and songs as the Gond and Kolam Adivasis celebrate the festival Gussadi-Dandari. The festival celebrates the completion of the harvest and yield of crops in hamlets. It is celebrated in the months of October and November, during Deepavali season.
The Adivasis worship Yethmasurpen or god of soul, and the god Jangu Bai by placing musical instruments, such as Dappu, Ghumela, Dhol, Vetti, Karra, Pepri and Thudum before the deity. During celebrations, rituals involve caps made of peacock feathers. The celebrations last for about two weeks.
Some men wear the Gussadi topi (maal bora) made of peacock feathers. They form a troupe that dances in tune with the instruments, while women perform Relare Rela dances during the celebrations. The men in Gussadi outfits will not wear footwear during the celebrations.
Adivasis start off the dance festival after puja at Padmalpuri Kako, along the river Godavari near Gudirevu in Bandepalli. Mancherial district is where the festival is believed to have started.
The Dandari-Gussadi festival is also a place where single men and women can find their significant others, as men perform dances before women who are interested in getting married. Young men or women can express their desire to marry a specific person seen at the festival, and families will talk to community elders at the end of the festival.
The festival will come to an end with the ritual called Kolabodi, where the Adivasis perform a puja at the Mahua (Ippa) tree.
Todasam Ambu Patel, the Adivasi village head of Chichdhari of Adilabad rural mandal said, "This is a great festival for Adivasis in the Gondwana land (Central India). This tradition came from Pahandi Kupar Lingo, a Gond saint. The festival brings us back from busy agricultural life."