Head of ‘world’s largest family’ dies in India


A polygamous sect leader believed to be the head of the world’s largest family has passed away aged 76 following an illness.

Ziona Chana, the head of a religious sect that allows members to take multiple wives, died at the Trinity Hospital in Aizawl, India, on Sunday.

He leaves behind 38 wives, 89 children and 33 grandchildren – all of whom live together in a 100-room, four storey house in the Baktwang Tlangnuam village.

The news of Chana’s death was confirmed by Mizoram’s chief minister, Zoramthanga, yesterday afternoon.

Ziona Chana, the head of a religious sect that allows members to take multiple wives, died at the Trinity Hospital in Aizawl, India, on Sunday. Pictured: Chana with his enormous family

Ziona Chana, the head of a religious sect that allows members to take multiple wives, died at the Trinity Hospital in Aizawl, India, on Sunday. Pictured: Chana with his enormous family

Paying tribute to the father, he said: ‘With heavy heart, #Mizoram bid farewell to Mr. Ziona, believed to head the world’s largest family, with 38 wives and 89 children.

‘Mizoram and his village at Baktawng Tlangnuam has become a major tourist attraction in the state because of the family. Rest in Peace Sir!’ 

Chana had suffered from high blood pressure and diabetes ahead of his death on June 13, reports say.

He was first taken ill on June 7 when he became unable to eat, and fell unconscious on June 11, according to India Today.  

He was rushed to hospital on Sunday, where he was declared dead on arrival.

The exact size of Chana’s family is difficult to pinpoint, with some reports suggesting the father has as many as 94 children, 39 wives, 33 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. 

He leaves behind 38 wives, 89 children and 33 grandchildren - all of whom live together in a 100-room, four storey house in the Baktwang Tlangnuam village. Pictured: Chana

He leaves behind 38 wives, 89 children and 33 grandchildren – all of whom live together in a 100-room, four storey house in the Baktwang Tlangnuam village. Pictured: Chana

The news of Chana's death was confirmed by Mizoram's chief minister, Zoramthanga, yesterday afternoon

The news of Chana’s death was confirmed by Mizoram’s chief minister, Zoramthanga, yesterday afternoon

He was the leader of Chana Pawl, a Christian sect formed in the 1930s by his grandfather.

The sect has some 1,700 members including four generations of the Chana family, many of whom carve wooden furniture and make pottery items.

It is understood Chana was born in 1945 and married his first wife Zathiangi, who is three years older than him, when he was 17.

His family live together in an enormous four-storey house named ‘Chuuar Than Run’ – or New Generation House – which has 100 rooms and became a tourist destination.  

His family live together in an enormous four-storey house named 'Chuuar Than Run' - or New Generation House - which has 100 rooms and became a tourist destination

His family live together in an enormous four-storey house named ‘Chuuar Than Run’ – or New Generation House – which has 100 rooms and became a tourist destination

Mr Ziona, then 67, with some of his wives on January 31, 2011 in Baktawang, Mizoram, India

Mr Ziona, then 67, with some of his wives on January 31, 2011 in Baktawang, Mizoram, India

Family members pose for a group photograph in Baktawng village in the northeastern Indian state of Mizoram on October 7, 2011

Family members pose for a group photograph in Baktawng village in the northeastern Indian state of Mizoram on October 7, 2011

The family is organised with great discipline. The oldest wife regularly draws up schedules for her fellow partners to take turns performing household chores such as preparing meals, washing and cleaning. 

One evening meal can see them pluck 30 chickens, peel 132lb of potatoes and boil up to 220lb of rice.

Chana kept the youngest women near to his bedroom with the older members of the family sleeping further away – and there was a rotation system for who visited him at night. 

Speaking previously, Rinkmini, one of Mr Chana’s wives, said: ‘We stay around him as he is the most important person in the house. He is the most handsome person in the village.’  

Chana's wives Remliani, Saronpari, Lawmzuali, Hliatpuii and Laltluangi collect the raw materials for the afternoon meal on January 31, 2011

Chana’s wives Remliani, Saronpari, Lawmzuali, Hliatpuii and Laltluangi collect the raw materials for the afternoon meal on January 31, 2011

The exact size of Chana's family is difficult to pinpoint, with some reports suggesting the father has as many as 94 children, 39 wives, 33 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Pictured: Chana with his family in 2011

The exact size of Chana’s family is difficult to pinpoint, with some reports suggesting the father has as many as 94 children, 39 wives, 33 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Pictured: Chana with his family in 2011

She said Chana noticed her on a morning walk in the village in 1996 when she was and 17 wrote her a letter asking for her hand in marriage. 

Another of his wives, Huntharnghanki, said the entire family gets along well. The family system is reportedly based on ‘mutual love and respect’ 

Speaking in 2014, Chana said: ‘Today I feel like God’s special child. He’s given me so many people to look after.

‘I consider myself a lucky man to be the husband of 39 women and head of the world’s largest family.’



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