Polygamy is the practice of marriage to more than one person at the same time. In tribal India, polygamy is wide spread and differentiated into two forms :
Polygyny : is the marriage of one man to several women. If all the wives are reated to each other as sisters than it is termed as Sororal polygyny. In many societies amongst the tribals, having more than one wife was seen a symbol of power and prestige. Whereas amongst some, the barrenness of the first wife led to a second marriage of the husband. This is a more common form of polygamous marriage.
Polyandry : is the marriage of the woman to several men. Polygamy is found among Naga tribes, Gond and Baiga, the Toda, the Lushei clans. Polyandry is comparatively restricted in distribution. Polyandry can be termed as Fraternal or Adelphic polyandry if all the men in the marriage are related to each other as brothers and share a common wife. If the several husbands of the woman are not brothers of each other than it is known as non- fratemal polyandry. Polyandry was practiced amongst some tribes in order to prevent the creation of tiff amongst the several wives post marriage and also sometimes to prevent the sharing of property. Polyandry is a less common form of polygamous marriage.