For many of us, the concept of polygamy–the practice of marrying or taking multiple spouses–is still an uncharted territory. A lot of existing belief systems subscribe to monogamy, and it is more widely accepted than the former. We must also inform ourselves that there are some traditions that permit the practice of polygamy, and it does not mean that it is wrong. It is just the way they do and believe things.
With the lack of information on taking multiple spouses, we might have some lingering questions on the nitty-gritty stuff about it. How does it work? Do they live under the same roof? What about their children? Isn’t it too complicated to sustain multiple families?
Well, there is no one solid answers to these questions. It ultimately depends on how the family wants it work. Yes, even with multiple mothers, they are still considered one family.
Just like Ziona Chana’s one big, happy family. And by big, we mean 39-wives-and-94-children big. Not only that, but extended family are also included! So the total headcount of this family is: 39 wives, 94 children, 14 daughters-in-law, and 33 grandchildren. You want to know something even crazier than this? They all live under the same roof!
The 73-year-old man and his big family resides in a huge, four-storey, mansion-like house in the remote northeast of India, with 100 rooms to fit them all. It can be found on the mountainous village in Mizoram state, sharing borders with Burma and Bangladesh. It became a major tourist attraction itself, with it being called Chhuan Thar Run’ or New Generation Home.
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The head of the family, Ziona, leads a local Christian sect “Chana”, which was founded by his father in 1942. This belief system permits their male members to be polygamous. They have around 400 families as members, making their core belief internally stronger–that soon, they will be ruling the world with Christ.
In one year, Ziona was able to marry as many as ten women, and he has no intention to stop it. His dedication to expand his sect is so strong that he is even willing to search for new wives abroad!
They have a structured sleeping arrangements and roles to maintain peace and harmony in the house. Ziona has a double-bedded room to himself which he shares with his wives on a rotational basis. With regard to household chores, the oldest wife Zathiangi has the responsibility of distributing it to the members of the family.
According to Huntharnghanki, another one of Ziona’s wives, the entire family gets along so well because they treat each other with mutual love and respect. Fascinating, isn’t it?
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