Ziona Chana, patriarch of Christian sect in India, dies, leaving 38 wives and 89 kids

·1 min read

Ziona Chana, the head of an enormous family in India's northeastern Mizoram state, died Sunday, Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga confirmed. He was 76 and leaves behind at least 38 wives, 89 children, and 36 grandchildren; some reports put his family at 181 people — 39 wives, 94 children, 33 grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

Chana has been described as the head of the world's largest family, though "there are others who claim the title," BBC News reports. The family lived together in a four-story, 100-room purple house in the village of Baktawng Tlangnuam, and curiosity about the family made the village a tourist attraction in Mizoram state. Chana was the head of a Christian sect, Chana Pawl, started by his grandfather in 1942. The sect has about 2,000 followers around Baktawng Tlangnuam. Polygamy is allowed for men, but not all men in the sect.

60 Minutes Australia visited the village in 2018 and asked Chana and other locals most of the questions you probably have about how this domestic living situation worked.

Chana reportedly suffered from diabetes and hypertension, and his condition deteriorated Sunday, BBC News reports. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.

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