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date: 16 November 2019

Dhimay [dhime]locked

  • Mireille Helffer
  • , revised by Gert-Matthias Wegner
  •  and Simonne Bailey



Double-headed cylindrical drum of Nepal. It was originally played only by Newar farmers and bricklayers from the Kathmandu Valley. The body is traditionally a hollowed log, nowadays brass or tinned steel. The heads are laced with leather braces in an X pattern. The lower-pitched head, made from cowhide and struck by the hand, has tuning paste of mustard oil, crushed castor and apple seeds, and tree resin attached inside. The other head, made from goatskin, is struck with a flat cane formed into a spiral. A dhimaybājā ensemble comprises several drums along with large brass cymbals buchyā, and, in the city of Bhaktapur, sichyā. During town rituals dhimay drumming sets the festive mood and inspires people to dance. The drums invoke the gods along the processional route. In Kathmandu a long bamboo pole (dhujyāmujyā) decorated with yak tails and tassels is used as a mace in the procession; it is twirled in synchrony with the drumming. Until ...

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