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Gena (Amharic:ገና) or qarsa(ቃርሳ) is a traditional field hockey game popular in the Ethiopian highlands.[1] It is a game played in the space between villages but with no defined boundaries.[2] It is played among two teams who attempt to throw a wooden ball in the air and hit it with sticks, the goal being to prevent the opposing team to bring the ball to their village.[3][4] The game is closely associated with Gena the January 7 celebration of Christmas, from which it gets its name.[5]


  1. ^ Graham, John (7 September 2001). Ethiopia: Off the Beaten Trail. Addis Ababa: Shama Books. p. 167. ISBN 9781931253116. OCLC 51553876. 
  2. ^ Wolde-Georgis, Tsegay (30 November 2004). Fuller, Linda K., ed. Holiday Celebrations among the Highlanders of Ethiopia. National Days/National Ways: Historical, Political, and Religious Celebrations around the World. West Port, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 92, 99. ISBN 9780275972707. OCLC 547274920. 
  3. ^ Lord, Edith (1970). Queen of Sheba's heirs: cultural patterns of Ethiopia. Acropolis Books. p. 53. ISBN 978-0874910117. OCLC 117120. 
  4. ^ Crawley, Michael (4 October 2016). "The two-hour marathon: who is it for?". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 30 January 2017. Retrieved 30 January 2017. 
  5. ^ Kagwanja, Peter (24 December 2016). "Shield Christmas fete from the perils of capitalist". Daily Nation. Archived from the original on 30 January 2017. Retrieved 30 January 2017.