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Nganu Leima

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Nganu Leima
Goddess of ducks and waterfowls
Member of Lairembis
Goddess Nganu Leima
Other names
  • Nganuleima
  • Nganureima
AffiliationMeitei mythology (Manipuri mythology) and Meitei religion (Sanamahism)
Animalsducks and waterfowls
Symbolsducks and waterfowls
RegionManipur, Northeast India
Ethnic groupMeitei ethnicity
FestivalsLai Haraoba
Personal information
ParentsSalailen (Soraren)
SiblingsKhunu Leima and Shabi Leima

Nganu Leima (/ngaa-noo lei-ma) or Nganureima (/ngaa-noo-rei-ma) is the goddess of ducks and other water birds in Meitei mythology and religion. She is a sister of goddesses Khunu Leima and Shabi Leima. Legend says that all three sisters married to the same mortal man.[1][2][3][4][5][6]


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The Meitei female given name "Nganu Leima" (ꯉꯥꯅꯨ ꯂꯩꯃ) is made up of two component words. The two words are "Nganu" (ꯉꯥꯅꯨ) and "Leima" (ꯂꯩꯃ). In Meitei, "Nganu" (ꯉꯥꯅꯨ) means duck.[7] The word "Leima" (ꯂꯩꯃ) is further made up of two component words, "Lei" (ꯂꯩ) and "Ma" (ꯃ). "Lei" (ꯂꯩ) means land or earth. "Ma" (ꯃ) means "mother". Literally, "Leima" (ꯂꯩꯃ) can be translated as "Land Mother" or "Mother Earth". But in general context, "Leima" (ꯂꯩꯃ) means a queen or a mistress or a lady.[8]


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Goddess Nganu Leima

Goddess Nganu Leima is described as the mistress of all the ducks and the waterfowls of the world. At any moment, she could summon all the ducks and the waterfowls at any place she wishes. She is one of the daughters of God Salailen (alias Soraren).[9][5][10]

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  1. Eben Mayogee Leipareng (in Manipuri). 1995. p. 107. {{cite book}}: |website= ignored (help)
  2. Folk Culture of Manipur - Page 7 - Moirangthem Kirti Singh · 1993
  3. Tal Taret (in Manipuri). 2006. p. 39. {{cite book}}: |website= ignored (help)
  4. Tal Taret (in Manipuri). 2006. p. 43. {{cite book}}: |website= ignored (help)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Manipuri Phungawari (in Manipuri). 2014. p. 202. {{cite book}}: |website= ignored (help)
  6. Regunathan, Sudhamahi (2005). Folk Tales of the North-East. Children's Book Trust. ISBN 978-81-7011-967-8.
  7. "Learners' Manipuri-English dictionary.Nganu". uchicago.edu. 2006.
  8. "Learners' Manipuri-English dictionary.Leima". uchicago.edu. 2006.
  9. Tal Taret (in Manipuri). 2006. p. 46. {{cite book}}: |website= ignored (help)
  10. Manipuri Phungawari (in Manipuri). 2014. p. 203. {{cite book}}: |website= ignored (help)


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  • Glimpses of Manipuri Culture - Dr. Yumlembam Gopi Devi
  • The History of Manipur: An early period - Wahengbam Ibohal Singh · 1986

Other websites

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