Meet the world’s largest family. World record of most marriages for one person. Ziona Chana has 39 wives, 94 children, 14 daughters-in-law and 33 grandchildren living under the same roof.
Home is a 100-room, four-storey house set in the hills of the village of Baktawng in the Indian state of Mizoram. Even then, some of his wives sleep top-to-tail in communal dormitories. But Ziona doesn’t appear fazed by the size of his apparently happy family – and doesn’t claim any benefits for their upkeep.
You treat this place like a hotel: With 100 rooms, the Ziona mansion is the biggest concrete structure in the hilly village of Baktawng in Mizoram, India
‘I consider myself a lucky man to be the husband of 39 women and head of the world’s largest family.’
The family is organised with almost military discipline, with the oldest wife Zathiangi, 69, drawing up schedules for her fellow partners to take turns performing household chores such as cleaning, washing and preparing meals. One evening meal can see them pluck 30 chickens, peel 132 lbs of potatoes and boil up to 220 lbs of rice. The compound has its own school, a playground, carpentry workshops, piggery and poultry farms and a vegetable garden big enough to supply the whole family.
We’re gonna need a bigger car: Ziona’s family members wave from the back of a truck on their way to church
Feeling peckish? The senior ladies of the Chana family show what it takes just to make a meal
The wives and me: Mr Ziona Chana poses with his 39 wives at their home in Baktawng Conveniently, Ziona is also head of a sect that allows members to take as many wives as he wants.
He even married ten women in one year, when he was at his most prolific, and enjoys his own double bed while his wives have to make do with sharing.
He keeps the youngest women near to his bedroom with the older members of the family sleeping further away – and there is a rotation system for who visits Ziona’s bedroom.
Rinkmini, one of Ziona’s wives, who is 35, said: ‘We stay around him as he is the most important person in the house. He is the most handsome person in the village.’
All smiles: Engi, five, is the youngest of Ziona’s children. She is surrounded by other young family members in the village
Not your usual dinner time: A wife of Ziona prepares breakfast at home
She said Ziona noticed her on a morning walk in the village 18 years ago and wrote her a letter asking for her hand in marriage.
Another of his wives, Huntharnghanki, said the entire family gets along well. The family system is reportedly based on ‘mutual love and respect’.
And Ziona, whose polygamous religious sect has 4,000 members, says he has not stopped looking for new wives.
‘To expand my sect, I am willing to go even to the U.S. to marry,’ he said.
One of his sons insisted that Ziona, whose grandfather also had many wives, marries the poor women from the village so he can look after them.
while Hmaii, 57, became his second wife
while Tlungi, 65, was the fourth
Sangi, 58, Ziona’s 6th wife
Malsawmi, 48, is Ziona’s tenth wife
Thangzeli, 40, was the 14th
Muanpuii, 38, is number 16
Rawni, 57, is the 23rd
Hritpuii, 32, is the 27th
is one busy man!