The majority of the Dhodia tribes are located in the southern part of Gujarat, Surat and Valsad districts, Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan of India. In Maharashtra, they are found mainly in the district of Thane.Their language is the Dhodia language. It is a language which is a mixture of unique words, as well as some words influenced by Gujarati as well as Marathi. Their language does not have a written script.
There are many beliefs about the origin of the term "dhodia" . One is that they came from a place called Dhulia. The other belief is that the Rajputs from around the Dholka Taluka, married local women in the tribal villages and later their descendants established themselves as Dhodia. However, these are all just folklore that have yet to be supported by scientific or historic data. The Naikda, another tribal community, claims common descent with the Dhodia.
Religion and customs
They celebrate all the festivals that other Hindus do. Diwali, Holi are some examples.The majority of Dhodia believe in and are devoted to "Kanasari" or "Kanseri" (Goddess of food). They celebrate the "Kanseri" festival annually at harvest. The "Kanseri" Goddess is otherwise known as Goddess "Annapurna" by most Hindus.
The Dhodia also celebrate "Divaso".
Vagh baras is also celebrated in a unique fashion in some Dhodia villages where men colour themselves in stripes representing the Vagh(tiger) and others as plain white or other colours denoting cattle. The tiger chases the cattle. Finally at the end of the sport the village inhabitants eat together and celebrate.
- People of India Maharshtra Volume XXX Part One edited by B.V Bhanu, B.R Bhatnagar, D.K Bose, V.S Kulkarni and J Sreenath pages 529-535