Polyandry In Tibet
Polyandry is a form of polygamy whereby a woman has several husbands. In Tibet those husbands are often brothers, which is why it is most commonly called "Fraternal Polyandry". Concern over the delicate question of which children are fathered by which brother falls on the wife alone. She may or may not say who the father is because she does not wish to create conflict in the family; she may also be unsure who the biological father is.
Historically, the social system compelled marriage within a social class.
Initially, when the People's Republic of China annexed Tibet, political systems in many regions of Tibet remained unchanged. Then starting between 1959 and 1960 political reforms changed the land ownership and taxation systems. Professor Melvyn Goldstein believed this had a direct impact on Tibet's traditional marriage system. With the change of the social stratification as a result of land ownership and taxation systems, the du-jung and the mi-bo lower classes were the first to avoid the intramarriages that characterized the older society.
However, as part of its population control measures, the Chinese government later forbade polygamous marriage altogether under family law. Even though it is currently illegal, after collective farming was phased out and the farmed land reverted in the form of long-term leases to individual families, polyandry in Tibet is de facto the norm in rural areas.
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Famous quotes containing the word tibet:
“They have their belief, these poor Tibet people, that Providence sends down always an Incarnation of Himself into every generation. At bottom some belief in a kind of pope! At bottom still better, a belief that there is a Greatest Man; that he is discoverable; that, once discovered, we ought to treat him with an obedience which knows no bounds. This is the truth of Grand Lamaism; the discoverability is the only error here.”
—Thomas Carlyle (17951881)