Polyandry in Himalayas

The mechanics of fraternal polyandry are simple. Two, three, four, or more brothers jointly take a wife, who leaves her home to come and live with them. Traditionally, marriage was arranged by parents, with children, particularly females, having little or no say.

This is changing nowadays, but it is still unusual for children to marry without their parents consent. Marriage ceremonies vary by income. The eldest brother is normally dominant in terms of authority, that is in managing the household but all the brothers share the work and participate as sexual partners. There is no attempt to link children biologically to particular brothers, and a brother shows no favoritism toward child.

Society in this region allows a variety of marriages including monogamy, fraternal polyandry & polygamy.

The explanation for choosing polyandry is materialistic. If you ask someone why he decided to marry with his brothers rather then take his own wife, they say it prevents the division of his family’s farm & animals.

Polyandry is practiced commonly in the Trans- Giri of district Sirmour & some other parts of Himachal.Usually the eldest brother, in a polyandry family is regarded as the head of the family after the death of the father. He exercises a general control over all brothers.

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