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Bride Wealth and Stability of Marriage

Mention the correlation between bride wealth and stability of marriage. How is our understanding of this relationship impacted by the status of women in pastoral societies? Reflect on marriage in current North American societies. Is there pressure to stay with a spouse from members of our kinship groups? What factors contribute significantly to the stability of marriages in your culture?

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Bride wealth and social stability:

Bride wealth consists of an exchange between the bride and groom's families, in which the groom's family gives the bride's family a series of gifts/valuables. Early European anthropologists often thought that the groom's family was "buying" the bride, as one would buy a slave, but this perspective is not quite correct. For one thing, the groom's family often gave gifts to the bride's family over a series of years or occasions, for example, gifts may be given:

1. when the marriage is first contracted/agreed upon
2. when the bride goes to live/work on the groom's land or in his household
3. when the bride gives birth to children.

These gifts often included ...

Solution Summary

The bride wealth and stability of marriage is determined.

$2.19