His name is Ziona, and at 71 he is thought to have the largest family in the world. Chana Pawl was first established by Ziona’s father in 1942. Today the unique sect has more than 2,000 followers, who all live in the village of Baktawng Tlangnuam. The Chana Pawl are famous for their skills at woodworking, but more famous for their practice of polygamy.
In the 2014 alone Ziona married 10 more women! None of the women are forced into the unions; in fact, many are happy to accept his proposals because the brides-to-be often come from destitute families. His wife Rinkmini says that he pursued her after spotting her in the village one day. She was flattered. “He is the most handsome person in the village,” she said.
Ziona built a “house” on the side of a mountain with more than 100 rooms, including giant communal bedrooms for all his wives. Ziona himself has a private room with a large bed. Each one of his wives gets to spend one week sharing Ziona’s room and bed with him. It sounds tricky, but the wives claim there is no jealousy.
The family prides itself on being self-sufficient. They grow their own food, working the farmland themselves. They also have a school on their property where all of the children receive a quality education. They are a village unto themselves!
With a family this size, you might think that Ziona is all set for new brides, but he has not ruled out the possibility of adding more wives and children to his happy family.