Bride Wealth

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Describe the correlation between bride wealth and stability of marriage. How is your understanding of this relationship impacted by the status of women in pastoral societies? Bride Wealth is an amount of money or property or wealth paid by the groom or his family to the parents of a woman upon the marriage. The bride price is the gift that has the purpose to maintain the permanency of the two groups' social relationship by compensating the loss of one object, the daughter or her ability to work, by another object, money or most often livestock. The bride wealth may also be seen as custom of maintenance for the wife in the event of the breakup of marriage, and family maintenance in the event of the husband not providing adequately for the wife in his will. Another purpose performed by the amount was to provide a disincentive for the husband to divorce his wife; he would need to have a certain amount to be able to pay to the wife. As a result, very few marriages end in divorce because the bride wealth would be return to the husband if the woman wishes the divorce and the husband would forfeit the bride wealth altogether and harm relations with the bride’s family. Most of the time a woman can have more extra marital relations and any children born are considered the husbands.

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?

Divorce in our cultural is too easy. In the US, if you are unhappy or unfaithful it is easy to get out of the marriage and encouraged most of the time. I am currently going through a divorce. I was raised that you worked on the problems; my husband’s family is not like that and pressured him to leave. Divorce is becoming the norm and we have no way of stopping it. People believe that it is easy but in truth it hurts not only the two involved but also the extended family....
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