Sugria is an institution coming from Mani with ancient roots and it probably started in the 17th century and was applied until the 1930s. According to sugria, if the first wife of a man from Mani did not give birth to children or gave birth only females, then the man had the right to take a second wife and bring her home. The name probably comes from the word “suguria” (sun + kuria).
Sugria was practically considered legitimate and not reprehensible. This can be justified by the fact that the social organization of Mani was based on the strength of families and thus to men who could defend it.
The new woman according to sugria had to be young and beautiful to make beautiful and strong children. The girl usually comes from a family of lower status and the deal was made when the man gave some exchange to her or her relatives. They usually gave estates, money or they made marriages between some of her sisters and family members.
During sugria, the first wife lived with the new one but had more privileges and their relationship could be like the relationship between bride – mother in law. The new woman ought to respect and serve the first wife.
The Law of sugria in Mani was very specific about the roles of each of the wives: the second woman never appeared in public together with the first one, she could not sit at the table to eat together, she had a separate room or house to see her relatives, while the role of the hostess at celebrations was first wife’s responsibility.
There were cases where the first wife was adopting the child of the second wife or baptized it in order to have better relationshiop with the second one. The child called both women mother and could inherit the dowry of the first wife.
If the second wife did not acquire children, then after the death of her husband, the first wife could legally get her out of the house. He could not get a third woman, because if he had not been able to have a child with the first two women, then his sterility was a fact.