What Is Polyandry? Discuss The Family Kinship And Marriage Of The Todas In India.
Polyandry is a form of polygamy in which a woman has more than one husband at the same time. Polyandry is relatively rare and is found in only a few societies around the world. It is most commonly found in societies where there is a scarcity of resources, such as land or food, and where it is difficult for men to support a family on their own.
In India, the Toda people are a small tribal group that practices polyandry. The Todas are a pastoral community that is indigenous to the Nilgiri Hills in the state of Tamil Nadu. They are known for their distinctive culture and way of life, which is shaped by their history, traditions, and environment.
The Toda family kinship system is based on the concept of the joint family, in which several generations of a family live together and share resources and responsibilities. The head of the family is typically the eldest male, who makes decisions on behalf of the family and is responsible for the welfare of its members. The Toda family is patrilineal, which means that descent and inheritance are traced through the male line.
The Todas practice polyandry, in which a woman may have more than one husband at the same time. This practice is believed to have originated as a way of conserving resources, as it allows men to share the responsibilities and costs of supporting a family. In a Toda polyandrous family, the woman is considered the head of the household, and she is responsible for managing the household and making decisions on behalf of the family. The husband or husband is responsible for providing for the family and participating in the family’s economic and social activities.
The Toda marriage system is characterized by the practice of cross-cousin marriage, in which a person marries the child of their parent’s opposite-sex sibling. Cross-cousin marriage is believed to strengthen the bonds between families and promote cooperation and mutual support. The Todas also practice the custom of bride price, in which the groom’s family pays a dowry to the bride’s family as a sign of respect and as compensation for the loss of the bride’s labour and support.
In recent years, the Toda way of life has undergone significant changes, as the community has been impacted by modernization and development. Many Todas have adopted a more Westernized lifestyle and have abandoned traditional practices, such as polyandry and cross-cousin marriage. The Todas have also faced challenges related to land ownership, as they have been displaced from their traditional lands and have struggled to maintain their traditional way of life.
In conclusion, polyandry is a form of polygamy in which a woman has more than one husband at the same time. The Toda people of India are a small tribal group that practices polyandry, as well as cross-cousin marriage and the custom of bride price. The Toda way of life has undergone significant changes in recent years, as the community has been impacted by modernization and development. Despite these changes, the Todas have managed to preserve their unique culture and traditions and continue to play a vital role in the diversity and richness of India’s culture.
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