Where did the baby name Dhana come from in 1964?

The character Dhana Mercier from the movie "The 7th Dawn" (1964)
Dhana Mercier from “The 7th Dawn

The name Dhana first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in the mid-1960s:

  • 1966: 12 baby girls named Dhana
  • 1965: 26 baby girls named Dhana
  • 1964: 23 baby girls named Dhana [debut]
  • 1963: unlisted
  • 1962: unlisted

Where did it come from?

A character named Dhana (pronounced DAH-nah) from the 1964 movie The 7th Dawn.

The film is set in British Malaya during the 1950s, against the backdrop of the guerrilla war being fought between Malaysian Communists (who want an independent socialist state) and the British military (who want to protect British colonial interests).

Dhana Mercier (played by French actress Capucine), who has been living peacefully in Malaya since the end of WWII, gets caught up in the conflict unwittingly.

The 7th Dawn was based on the book The Durian Tree (1960) by Australian writer Michael Keon.

Interestingly, the name Dhana debuted the same year that the similar-looking name Djuna debuted. Which of these two names do you prefer?

Sources: The 7th Dawn – AFI, The 7th Dawn (1964) – IMDb, SSA

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