Ziona Chana, a 76-year-old man, believed to be the head of the world’s largest family, and the head of a religious sect that practiced polygamy, died on Sunday, in India’s Mizoram state leaving behind 38 wives, 89 children and 36 grandchildren.
BBC reported, citing Reuters news agency, Chana was born in 1945. He met his oldest wife, who is three years older than him, when he was 17.
He and the family belong to a Christian sect – Chana Pawl – that has about 2,000 followers. The sect, which allows polygamy for men, was founded by Chana’s grandfather in 1942.
According to BBC, his death was confirmed by Mizoram’s chief minister, Zoramthanga, who offered his condolences on Twitter “with a heavy heart”.
Chana reportedly suffered from diabetes and hypertension. After his condition deteriorated at home, he was admitted to hospital on Sunday evening, where he was declared dead on arrival.
It is hard to confirm if Chana the head of world’s largest family since there are others who claim the title.
The exact size of his family isn’t easy to estimate. BBC reported that one report claims Chana had 39 wives, 94 children, 33 grandchildren and one great-grandchild, which adds up to 181 people.
But world record or not, Chana and his family are a local sensation of sorts, attracting tourists to their village in India’s north-east. And Chana’s extrordinary life has grabbed several headlines over the years.
BBC reported, citing local media, that the enormous family lives together in a four-storied house called “Chuuar Than Run” or New Generation House, with 100 rooms. His wives share a dormitory near Chana’s private bedroom.
Image source: Getty Images-BBC