Re: Polyandry

Shannon Adams (
Thu, 14 Nov 1996 13:15:42 -0800

AnonEMoose wrote:
> Michael J. Weaver <> wrote:
> > Polyandry is a form of Polygamy where the Woman has multiple husbands.
> > Note in Polyandry societies this right does NOT equally apply to males.
> > Does anyone know if this is still legally practiced in any
> > society/country today? Thank you.
> Apparently in most cases of polyandry a group of brothers
> shares a wife, and the woman is not necessarily really all that
> dominant. There's a guy called "Peter Prince of Greece"
> who spent years tracking down the cases of polyandry.

"The commonest form of polyandry is adelphic or fraternal polyandry
where the joint husbands are brother. Polyandrous marriage has been
reported for parts of India and especially the Himalayas, as well as in
isolated cases in other parts of the world. It has been associated in
some cases with shortage of women due to female infanticide, though it
should be noted that in other cases female infanticide is associated
with polygamous marriage patterns. Berreman (1978) has interpreted
Himalayan polyandry in terms of land shortage, as a means of limiting
family expansion by assigning several males to one female. Since the
woman's reproductive capacity is the same no matter how many husbands
she has...Berreman suggests that polyandry serves to adjust the labour
force to available land."

"Polyandry" in _Macmillan Dictionary of Anthropology,_ Charolotte
Seymour-Smith, London, Macmillan Press LTD, 1986, p.228.

Does this help at all?