Baktawng, a remote village in Mizoram, India, is renowned for being home to the world's largest family, boasting 199 members living under one roof. The late patriarch, Ziona Chana, led this extraordinary family with 38 wives, 89 children, and 36 grandchildren. Following Ziona's passing in 2021, the family persists in its unique lifestyle within the grand living complex he built.
The family's daily routine involves communal meals in a bustling dining hall, resembling more of a canteen than a typical family dining room. Members share responsibilities, from daily chores to managing finances, fostering a strong sense of unity.
Despite the fame associated with their colossal family, a shift is occurring. Ziona's younger son, Mr. Record, emphasizes that they are not divine figures like their father and cannot continue the tradition of having multiple wives. The family acknowledges that their circumstances are changing.
With the desire for better education and improved opportunities, family members are open to sending their children away. Another house is under construction in Baktawng to accommodate the expanding family, signaling the eventual end of living under one roof.
Pu Ziona, the founder of a Christian sect known as Chhuan Thar Kohhran, endorsed polygamy, and his followers, totaling 2,600, believe in a post-apocalyptic 'golden age.' The sect continues to uphold the values preached by Ziona, and his legacy is palpable in the community.
Balancing a family of 199 members poses economic challenges, but collective efforts contribute to sustaining their unique lifestyle. Engaged in various activities, including farming, carpentry, and raising livestock, the family operates like a close-knit community.
The legacy of the world's largest family, once led by the charismatic Ziona Chana, faces an uncertain future, but members are committed to preserving their unity and positive familial support, regardless of the challenges they may encounter.