Ga Noi

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Viet Nam, home of Gà Nòi

The origin of gà nòi is unknown. Its history cannot be traced due to the lack of documentation. The 30 years civil war ended in 1975 that killed millions and ruined the whole country further contributed to the lack of information.

Cockfighting in Viet Nam is an old tradition dating back at least 700 years. Gà Nòi is believed to be native of Viet Nam as there is no credible evidence of its origination from elsewhere. Gà nòi have been exported to neighboring countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia in recent decades. Vietnamese cockers living in the United States had also brought gà nòi to the States. Fowls bearing physical resemblance to ga noi can also be found in the Reunion Island.

For people who are interested in researching the origin of ga noi, a recent study conducted by a Japanese team on the origin of all chickens in the world can be found at Access Excellence. The new findings by the Japanese researchers suggest that domestication took place more than 8,000 years ago in what is now Thailand and Vietnam, the region in which the red jungle fowl is found today. You can click on this PROTOCHICKEN link to read more about the study.

Pic courtesy of Moua Oriental Aviary
Pic courtesy of Moua Oriental Aviary


According to "Đại Nam Quốc Âm Tự Vị" a linguistic research book in Vietnamese language, published by a scholar named Huỳnh Tịnh Của (Volume II, in 1896 - page 155), the word "Nòi" means:

Nòi = bloodline, breed. (Vietnamese writing uses diacritical mark)

Gà Nòi = A special type of chicken people breed for fighting purpose.

Rặt Nòi (entirely nòi) = A pure breed, no cross-breeding with the unknown type

Vương Hồng Sển, a respected author who told stories of cockfighting in 1915 in his book "Phong Lưu Cũ Mới", published in 1961, gave another definition of "Nòi" as:

  • Race
  • An ancestral line
  • A distinguish ancestry
  • A recorded purity of breed of an individual or strain

The DICTIONNAIRE ANNAMITE-FRANCAIS prepared and edited by G�nibrel, J-F-M published in 1898 also gave similar definition as above.

The term GA NOI refers to two separate breeds of fighting fowls

They are Ga Don (short for gà nòi đòn) and Ga Cua (short for gà nòi cựa).

Đòn = hitting, whipping, caning, thrashing.

Cựa = Spur


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