Where Polyandry Is Legal

Polygamy is the general and neutral term for any marriage between three or more people. Polygyny is a specific term used to describe a marriage involving a husband and at least two wives. It is by far the most common (and commonly legal) form of polygamy. Polyandry is a specific term used to describe marriages between a woman and at least two husbands. In India, Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet, polyandry continued until relatively recently, particularly among the region`s many minority peoples. While the custom has since been banned in Tibet by Chinese authorities, the practice appears to be dying a natural death in India. Increased resources and opportunities allow men to leave resource-poor areas and find work and women elsewhere. And it all happened in one generation. As one Malang Indian, the son of a Polyandrian marriage, said in a 2010 interview with The New York Times: „This system has been useful for a while.

But in the current context, it has lost its usefulness. The world has changed. However, the government of the Tibet Autonomous Region stopped tolerating new polyandric marriages under family law in 1981. But Professor Machoko said polyandry was once practiced in Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria and is still practiced in Gabon, where the law allows it. In other parts of the world, including parts of the Middle East and Asia, polygamy is legal but not widespread. And in some countries – particularly in a segment of West and Central Africa known as polygamy belts – the practice is often legal and widespread. The word polyandry comes from the Greek, poly (many) and andros (man) and literally means the practice of a woman taking two or more husbands. The custom developed in human cultures where resources, especially land and food, were scarce and/or women were allowed to own ancestral property or title.

In some parts of the world, this occurs in areas where women themselves are rare, for example in cultures where female infanticide is practiced regularly or where women are less likely to survive to adulthood. Polyandry has allowed men to pool their resources and lead comfortable lives that would otherwise be denied to them and their children. And in these relationships, women often enjoyed a very high status. Professor Machoko studied polyandry in his native neighbouring Zimbabwe. He spoke to 20 women and 45 co-husbands who practiced it, even though these marriages are socially taboo and not legally recognized. Another form of polyandry is a combination of polyandry and polygyny; While women are married to several men at the same time and the same men can marry other women. It is found in some tribes in Africa, as well as in villages in northern Nigeria and northern Cameroon. Usually, one of the wife`s husbands is chosen to be the husband of a woman from another tribe who would also have many husbands; This double polyandric union serves to form a conjugal alliance between tribes.

Fraternal polyandry achieves a similar goal to the first birth in the 19th century in England. Primogeniture stipulated that the eldest son inherited the family fortune, while the younger sons had to leave home and look for their own employment. Primogeniture kept the family estates intact for generations allowing only one heir per generation. Fraternal polyandry also achieves this, but keeping all the brothers together with one wife, so that there is only one group of heirs per generation. [14] This strategy seems all the less fruitful the larger the fraternal group. [15] Polyandry also existed among the tribes of South America, as the Bororo practiced polyandry, while up to 70% of Amazonian cultures may have believed in the principle of multiple paternity. „The Tupi-Kawahib also practice fraternal polyandry. The legal status of polygamy varies from country to country, with each country prohibiting, accepting or promoting polygamy. In countries that accept or promote polygamy, polygamy is the most common. In countries where only monogamous marriage is legally valid, de facto polygamy is generally permitted, as long as adultery is not illegal.

In areas like these, where polygamy is prohibited but tolerated, there is no legal recognition for more spouses after the first. Polyandry in Tibet was a common practice and continues to a lesser extent today. A Tibet University survey of 753 Tibetan families in 1988 found that 13 percent practiced polyandry. [20] Polyandry still exists among minorities in India, but also in Bhutan and northern Nepal. Polyandry was practiced in several regions of India, such as Rajasthan, Ladakh and Zanskar, in the Jaunsar-Bawar region of Uttarakhand, under the Toda of South India. [6] [21] One of the countries that allows polyandry is India. India as a country has more than one tribe practicing polyandry. Polyandry is widespread in parts of northern Pahari India in the Jaunsarbawar region, while in Kinnaur, Himachal, a minority of people justify and practice polyandry. Polyandry is thought to be more likely in societies where environmental resources are scarce. It is thought to limit population growth and improve child survival. [6] [7] It is a rare form of marriage that exists not only among peasant families, but also among elite families.

[8] For example, polyandry in the Himalayan mountains is linked to land scarcity. The marriage of all brothers in the same family with the same woman allows the family land to remain intact and undivided. If each brother married separately and had children, the family land would be divided into small, unsustainable plots. In contrast, the very poor who did not own land rarely practiced polyandry in Buddhist Ladakh and Zanskar. [6] [Verification required] In Europe, the division of land has been prevented by the social practice of indivisible inheritance. As most of the siblings were disinherited, many of them became celibate monks and priests. [9] It is also present in Nigeria, in the Nymba,[21] Irigwe[22] and in some Polynesian societies before contact before contact,[23] although probably only among upper-caste women. [24] It is also found in parts of China`s Yunnan and Sichuan regions, among the Mosuo in China (who also practice polygyny), and in some sub-Saharan African countries such as the Maasai in Kenya and northern Tanzania[25] and indigenous American communities.