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also za·na·na  (zə-nä′nə)
The part of a house reserved for the women of the household in South Asia.

[Hindi zenāna, from Persian, from zan, woman; see gwen- in Indo-European roots.]


(Anthropology & Ethnology) (in the East, esp in Muslim and Hindu homes) part of a house reserved for the women and girls of a household
[C18: from Hindi zanāna, from Persian, from zan woman]


(zɛˈnɑ nə)

n., pl. -nas. (in India)
1. the part of the house in which the women and girls of a family are secluded.
2. its occupants collectively.
[1755–65; < Hindi < Persian zanāna, female, of women, adj. derivative of zan woman, c. Skt jani; see quean]


[zeˈnɑːnə] Nharén m indio
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References in classic literature ?
Mounted on that beast, she has been into action with tigers in the jungle, she has been received by native princes, who have welcomed her and Glorvina into the recesses of their zenanas and offered her shawls and jewels which it went to her heart to refuse.
The free and complete opening of the professions, the final abolition of the zenana I call it, and the franchise to all women who pay Queen's taxes above a certain sum.
4) The portraits of the Nizam's zenana juxtapose intimate family relations with visual citations to Orientalist narratives of an erotic harem, disclosing the political and personal dimensions of royal domesticity operating within one of India's largest existing zenanas of the late imperial period.
There are references to nautch girls and zenanas, fine brocade and rich silks, fencing and shooting, Mughal camps and English officers.
Miss S Oxley, "Our Hindu Schools and Zenanas," India's Women (September 1891): 245.
10) The particular concern was that the women in zenanas (rooms in the homes of upper caste Hindus and most Muslims where the women were secluded for their whole lives) could not be reached by the preaching of the male Christians.
The author of Sultana's Dream envisions a society in which women are not shut up in zenanas, but rather where men have been convinced to retire to their own kind of seclusion.
Thomas, a missionary wife in the Bareilly region, lobbied her home church to support a woman physician to attend to the welfare of the native Christians in Bareilly (then about thirty families), her main argument was that a "lady physician" would be an effective way to open doors to the upper class families and zenanas of Bareilly, which were otherwise closed to them.
The Woman's Board was particularly concerned to support missionary women and Indian Bible women who visited Indian wives in the zenanas.
As I turned to late-nineteenth-century missionary texts and biographies, I found them to be replete with images of "heathen" women "suffering" in the zenanas (secluded women's quarters), ostensibly awaiting redemption through the agency of the white, Christian missionary.
Questions arose as to whether female missionaries gaining converts in zenanas (i.