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Endymion: Polygamous Marriage

From: (nagasiva)
Newsgroups: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.pagan,soc.women,alt.society.anarchy
Subject: Endymion: (Legal) Polygamous Marriage (was other things)
Followup-To: alt.polyamory,alt.magick.tyagi,alt.pagan,soc.women,alt.society.anarchy
Date: 28 Feb 1996 12:45:44 -0800
Organization: Portal Communications (shell)
Lines: 79
Message-ID: <4h2eto$>
References: <4gdrqk$ <4gfdvk$> <2197cc$>
Reply-To: (Endymion)
Xref: alt.magick.tyagi:6903 alt.pagan:147082 soc.women:205308 alt.society.anarchy:31660

[from alt.polyamory: (Endymion)] (CatDeville) wrote:

>Where are (what countries?) polygamous (not just polyandry or polygyny)
>marriage and/or open polygamous (i.e. wives/husbands and
>'concubines'/'consorts') legal?  

>Does anyone know?


Sorry to be slow replying, but it took me a little while to find this
stuff.  I would usually automatically shy away from posting anything
quite this size, so my apology in advance if it bogs down peoples
modems.  Probably, anyone interested in polyamory would want to keep
this research material saved somewhere as a reference file, so I will
go ahead and post it instead of only privately emailing.

Legality of Polygamy on Earth:

Polyandry is by far the rarer form of polygamy.  Few societies
sanction it.  Among those that have traditionally done so are the Toda
and Nayar of India and some Tibetan groups.  It occurs in matrilineal
societies  in which a woman remains a member of her mother's household
and kin group after marriage, and in which her children are considered
as belonging exclusively to her kin group, rather than to that of
their father or to those of both parents.  Among the Nayar, however,
the child has to have an acknowledged father to be fully entitled to
membership in its mother's lineage, an acknowledged father being one
who is within the woman's appropriate marriage group and who has paid
part of the expenses connected with childbirth.

In polyandry, no one husband has exclusive sexual rights to his wife.
In traditional Sinhalese practice, the first husband has priority, and
later husbands must obtain his consent for sexual relations with the
common wife.  All children share equally in the mother's property, and
the children of each father share in their father's property.

Polygyny is found in many parts of the world, but it is most frequent
among African peoples, such as the Mende of Sierra Leone and Liberia,
the Nupe of Nigeria, and the Serer of Senegal and Gambia.  Among the
many customs contributing to polygyny in various societies is the
levirate, according to which a man is obliged to marry the widow of a

The Nuer of the Sudan have a custom of "ghost" marriages, by which a
man takes a wife in the name of a dead brother who had no children;
offspring of the "ghost" union are considered children of the dead
brother.  Where the custom of the sororate is observed, if a wife
fails to bear children the husband marries her sister;  some or all of
the children of this union are considered as belonging to the barren

Concurrent marriage with up to four wives is permitted by the tenets
of Islam, with the stipulation that each wife be treated equally.
Polygyny was formerly practiced in the United States under Mormonism
by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Information collected by James Lowell Gibbs, Jr.

Bibliography:  Clignet, Remi, Many Wives, Many Powers: Authority and
Power in Polygamous Families (1970);  Fortes, Meyer, ed., Marriage in
Tribal Societies (1962);  Fox, Robin, Kinship and Marriage (1967);
Levine, N., The Dynamics of Polyandry (1988);  Parmur, Y.  S.,
Polyandry in the Himalayas (1976);  Schuler, S.R., The Other Side of
Polyandry (1987); Van Wagoner, R., Mormon Polygamy:  A History (1985)


Eternally to all,


To ensure my response CC all public replies to email (READ alt.magick.tyagi) 
(emailed replies may be posted) *

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