The Daily Telegraph

Death of world’s ‘largest family’ head leaves 39 grieving widows

- By Joe Wallen in Mumbai

A MAN believed to have the world’s largest family, including 39 wives, 94 children, 33 grandchild­ren and one great-grandchild, has died in the northeaste­rn Indian state of Mizoram.

Ziona Chana, 76, was the head of a polygamous Christian religious sect founded by his father with 4,000 members, and his extended family all lived together in one 100-room, four-storey mansion in the remote village of Baktawng Tlangnuam.

Mr Chana, a constructi­on worker, developed a rota system for which of his wives would share his bed on any given night. “I consider myself a lucky man to be the husband of 39 women and head of the world’s largest family,” Mr Chana said in 2012.

The polygamist married his first wife, Zathiangi, at the age of 17. His last marriage came in 2004 to a 25-year-old woman.

Polygamy is illegal under Indian law but is permitted among a few of India’s north-eastern tribes. The household was self-sufficient, running its own school and growing its own crops.

As a result, his mansion has become something of a tourist attraction.

A guesthouse had been constructe­d within the residence to accommodat­e visitors – including many from abroad.

In 2014, the family featured in an advertisem­ent for a leading dishwasher brand, according to the Hindustan Times.

Doctors in Mizoram said Mr Chana died after his diabetes and hypertensi­on deteriorat­ed.

There is some dispute as to whether Mr Chana was the head of the world’s largest family – one Canadian man has allegedly fathered 150 children.

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