The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

miscellaneous papers, notebooks and letters on Nagas by Ursula Graham Bower, 1937-1947

caption: gennas
caption: personal gennas concerning domestic animals
medium: notes
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
date: 1937-1946
person: private collection
text: Personal gennas
text: If a goat gives birth or a sow farrows, 5 days genna is observed. The house is closed to strangers but not to fellow-villagers. During the 5 days no "pujas", ceremonies for sickness etc can be performed at the house, must be postponed till after.
text: If a mithan calves, the house is closed till the next new moon. If the mithan calves just before the next new moon, the genna is kept for only one or two days, as the case may be, as it may not be carried over till the next month; but some keep the full goat & pig genna or an abbreviated genna of 5 days for a mithan although it is not the custom to carry it over. The less pious sometimes keep 5 for a mithan anyway. The genna is counted from the day the mithan and her calf are brought in from the jungle. A one-day genna used to be kept when chickens hatched, but this is obsolete, or obsolescent.
text: No gennas are observed for the death of domestic animals, but those which have died in giving birth are not eaten by anybody, and are thrown away. Animals dying of illness may be eaten.
text: No genna is observed if a cat litters, but a 3 days' genna is held if a bitch whelps. On the day of the birth the family may not go to the fields, or the dhan will be spoiled.