Re: Polyandry

Richard A. Goodman (
Fri, 22 Nov 1996 23:58:13 GMT

Shannon Adams <> wrote:

>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?

Polyandry was also practiced in traditional Marquesan culture.

Rich G.