Ziona Chana, who is believed to head one of the world’s largest families, with 38 wives, 89 children and 33 grandchildren from Mizoram, passed away at a private hospital here on Sunday. He was 76.
An official of Aizawl district administration said that Chana was unwell since June 7 and a few days back admitted to a private hospital in the capital city after his diabetes, hypertension and other old age related problems deteriorated and breathed his last on Sunday afternoon.
“The last rites and other related events would be finalised in consultation with his family members,” the official told IANS.
Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga in a tweet said : “With heavy heart, Mizoram bid farewell to Mr. Zion-a (76), 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 !”
Born on July 21, 1945, Zionghaka, commonly known as Ziona Chana was the head of a Christian religious community called aChana’s sect’ in his village Baktawng Tlangnuam, around 100 km from Aizawl.
His family sources said that Ziona met his oldest wife, who is three years older than he was, when he was 17.Ziona family members of around 1,000 live in a four-storied house called ‘Chhuan Thar Run’ (New Generation Home) with over 100 rooms in the hilly village.The mansion of Ziona has a akhualbuk’ (guesthouse) to lodge relatives and visitors.There is a school and playground almost exclusively for the big Christian family.
Ziona’s sons and their wives, and all their children, live in different rooms in the same building, but share a common kitchen, while his wives shared a dormitory near his bedroom.
The Ziona family supported their own resources, productions while occasionally they got donations and gifts from their followers.
The mansion of Ziona has become a tourist attraction in the mountainous bordering state and the tourists are always curious to know about their families and management of the relations and day to day functioning.
Ziona was head of the world’s one of the biggest families and he has 89 children, 14-daughters-in-law, and 33 grandchildren.
According to the local officials, the family is organised with almost military discipline, with the oldest wife Zathiangi supervised the management of her fellow partners and associates to perform household chores such as cleaning, washing besides preparing meals.
One evening meal required 30 chickens, around 60 kg of potatoes and around 100 kg of rice. Coincidentally, Ziona is also head of their sect that allows the family members to marry as many women as he wants.
Officials said that Ziona married ten women in a year many years ago, when he was at his most prolific and enjoys his double bed while his wives have to make do with communal dormitories.
He keeps the youngest wife near to his bedroom with the elder wife of the family sleeping a little away while there was a rotational system for those who visits the Ziona bedroom according to his wishes.
(Sujit Chakraborty can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)