Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Polyandry
Polyandry: A form of polygamy whereby a woman takes twoor more husbands at the same time.
POLYANDRY: AN ANCIENT TRADITION The practice of polyandry is believed to stem from the taleof Mahabharata, the ancient Indian epic. The tale, one of the cornerstones of Indianculture, Draupadi, daughter of the King of Pancha beingmarried to five brothers. It is not legal, but in its most common form - wherebywomen in polyandrous relationships marry more than oneman from the same family - it is permitted. It tends to be practised in male dominated villages, whichstill follow primitive rituals and customs. Brothers whorefuse the union are often treated as outcasts.
Draupadi with her five husbands - the Pandavas. The central figure isYudhishthira; the two on the bottom are Bhima and Arjuna. Nakula andSahadeva, the twins, are standing.
POLYANDRY: AN ANCIENT TRADITION In polyandrous families, the woman often cannot say whichof her husbands fathered which children. The practice is also believed to be a way of keepingfarming land in the family. It is most commonly found near the Himalayas in the northof the country, as well as in the mountainous nation ofTibet. While the advance of modernity has seen the archaicpractice largely die out in most areas, the shortage ofwomen in countries such as China and India has helpedkeep it alive as a solution to young mens difficulties infinding a wife.
Five brothers (L-R) Sant Ram Verma, 28, Bajju Verma, 32, GopalVerma, 26, Guddu Verma, 21, and Dinesh Verma, 19, with their shared wifeRajo Verma, 20, and their son Jay Verma.