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Discover 5 Countries Where Women Were Allowed to Marry Multiple Men; Two African Countries Top

While polygamy is practiced all over the world, polyandry, on the other hand, is almost extinct and only a handful of tribes still practice it.

Many cases of polyandry have been recorded in the past in several tribes. Women were allowed to marry several men and even brothers of the same family.

Here are 5 countries where polyandry was practiced:

1. Nigeria

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The Irigwe people living west of the Plateau, Jos, are a unique people with about 17,000 people. This small group of people is known to be fervent followers of polyandry and this is not a surprise as their language and social traditions distinguish them from neighboring tribes. The Nigerian Irigwe people practiced polyandry for many decades until it was banned in 1968. Previously, women had the right to have “co-husbands” and move freely from home to the other, and the paternity of their children was attributed to the husband with whom the wife spent more time.

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2. Kenya

The Maasai are a nilotic ethnic group living in northern, central and southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. Several cases of polyandry have been recorded in the past. However, today, this practice is no longer commonplace.


3. India

Polyandry was practiced in Jaunsar-Bawar, Uttarakhand. It was also common in the Kinnaur region, part of Himachal in India.

Outside Kinnaur, polyandry was practiced in the south of India among the Todas tribes of Nilgiris and Nanjanad Vellala of Travancore. Although the polyandrous unions have disappeared from the traditions of many groups and tribes, they are still practiced by some Paharis, especially in the Jaunsar-Bawar region of northern India.

4. China

The Tibetan people in the Nepali parts of China practiced polyandry until 1960 after being annexed by the People’s Republic of China. They practiced the “fraternal polyandry” which consisted of marrying the brothers of the same family.


5. South America

The Bororos are an indigenous people of Brazil, living in the state of Mato Grosso, who practiced polyandry. The Bororos associate the body odor with the vital force of the person and the smell of the breath with the soul of the person. The Tupi people, who also practiced polyandry, was one of the most numerous indigenous peoples in Brazil, before colonization.


Written by How Africa

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