Until very recently, fraternal polyandry was the traditional marriage form observed by ethnic Tibetan people of many high Himalayan valleys. In this type of marriage, women marry a set of brothers, co-reside with them, and can bear children to all of them. Polyandry is rare among mammals, and is almost unknown among humans. Indeed, it challenges many common assumptions about marriage and family formation processes, no matter what the cultural or ecological context. This talk discusses why this unusual marriage and family system is practiced in this region, and why it is now quickly disappearing.
Kimber Haddix McKay, Professor of Anthropology; Director, International Development Studies, University of Montana
NYU Abu Dhabi Institute
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