Normally the tribals live in forests or hilly areas.
The Dubala are an exception. They live in fertile
plains of south Gujarat. The geographical shape of
this area is like a thumb. A large part of this area
falls on the coastline. The Dubala community does not
reside in the village close to the coastline.
Dubala are found in most parts of the Surat district
and in some talukas of Bharuch district. They are
thick in population in Kamrej, Palsana, Bardoli and
Navsari. They are not in a position to claim any
particular place as their native. They lack the power
and instinct to live like an independent and
autonomous community. They work as landless labourers.
Most Dubalas live in the fields of landowners. Very
few Dubalas have the distinction of being independent
‘Dubala’ means weak. By and large they are really
weak. It is said that two labourers from Saurashtra
can give an output equal to the labour of four Dubala
labourers. Their low efficiency might be one of the
major reasons for their backwardness.
do not live a joint family life. Fathers do not
inherit anything to the sons. Dubalas are very honest
by nature. They suffer debts for social customs and
occasions. The very debt becomes the cause of their
miseries and exploitation. Marriage is one of the main
reasons of debts. They settle their quarrels with the
help of guidance and verdict of a panch or a jury.
Dubalas love to dance like other tribals. Dance is the
means of entertainment and refreshment for them. They
also satisfy their religious notions with the help of
dance. They use different musical instruments like a
toor, a thali or a dish, a tamboor, a Bajaniya,
bhoongal and zarikathi.
dances of the Dubalas are called ‘Chalo’. Some of them
are ‘marghichalo’, ‘patalaghochalo’, ‘khiskolichalo’
etc. Beladi dance, choral dance, gheriya dance, Holi
dance etc. are their favourite pastimes. They are very
superstitious in nature. They fear the evil spirits
like ghost, chudel, vanthati and witch. They pray
different gods and deities and promise offerings to
save themselves from such evil spirits.
day of the month ‘Saravan’-Divaso is the main festival
of Dubalas. The young girls celebrate the festival of
dolls. Only the virgin girls participate in the
marriage of dolls. They also celebrate the festivals
like Navarati, Dussera, Diwali and Holi. The Dubalas
are not particular about their dress. The males wear a
short dhoti, shirt and a round piece of cloth on the
head. The women wear traditional Gujarati dress. They
tie the saree like a dhoti.
other tribal communities like the Chandhari, the
Ghodiya, the Gamit and Kotwaliya besides Dubalas. The
word ‘Raniparaj’ is used as an introduction to all
these tribal communities of this area.