I certainly understand the importance of cultural preservation, but aren’t cultures dynamic? To understand bride wealth, one must first understand marriage and its essence in African communities. This article investigates links between ilobolo (bridewealth) practices and marriage outcomes in contemporary Zulu society. ‍Poverty in Africa - Map of the places connected to electricity network Better off rich or poor? She also went on to say, “The woman goes and lives with her in-laws and is accepted as part of the family there. This question prompted me to rethink the lobola tradition that once seemed so logical and so normal to me, and to rediscover its intended purpose and meaning. Aside from political and social reasons (e.g. Access supplemental materials and multimedia. Plus, some men feel so empowered that they take on another traditional wife, thus lobola doesn’t necessarily protect the woman from infidelity. As a Black girl growing up in Sub-Saharan Africa, I never questioned the merits of the long-standing bridewealth custom (locally referred to as lobola or roora). of Contents. As a result, average life expectancy for African men is 58 years while for women is 61 years. Anecdotally speaking, Africans remain divided on the lobola issue. Child labour 4. Competition for wealth and the desire for independence from more powerful kingdoms shaped West African societies. Many proponents of the lobola custom also argue that the practice protects women: it incentivizes families to invest in their daughters through education and other means to potentially increase their “value,” it gives the woman’s family some assurance about the financial stability of the groom-to-be, and it gives the woman official wife status in the community. Lastly, we cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that, has largely morphed into a commercialized practice. Our core businesses produce scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, reference works, books, database services, and advertising; professional books, subscription products, certification and training services and online applications; and education content and services including integrated online teaching and learning resources for undergraduate and graduate students and lifelong learners. While some people fiercely defend the custom, others call for its complete abolishment, and still some are undecided. In Sub-Saharan Africa where land was abundant and there were few or no domesticated animals, manual labor was more valuable than capital, and therefore bridewealth dominated. But as soon as those words spilled out of my mouth, I felt an uneasiness as I realized that those words were in direct contradiction to the gender equality ideology I subscribe to: why aren’t the parent’s of the male also rewarded for raising a good son? It is an African custom. Request Permissions. Causes of poverty 2. Purchase this issue for $25.00 USD. Family poverty 6. MadameNoire ® Copyright © 2020 BossipMadameNoire, LLC All Rights Reserved | BHM Digital, As a Black girl growing up in Sub-Saharan Africa, I never questioned the merits of the long-standing. African marriage is a family matter, and binds two families in a lasting relationship, that anthropologists call affinity. JSTOR®, the JSTOR logo, JPASS®, Artstor®, Reveal Digital™ and ITHAKA® are registered trademarks of ITHAKA. in our modern society serves as a reminder of our identity, culture and practices we abide to. It suggests that the one function of bridewealth common to African societies is the legitimation of marriage, a function that enhances rather than diminishes the status of women in the African context. That is to say, the gift is a price set by the bride’s family to be exchanged for their daughter. Political corruption, lack of respect for rule of law, human rights violations are all common reasons heard for some of the causes of Africa’s problems. These inadequacies have led to conflicting results and ungeneralizable conclusions. “Bridewealth is not about purchasing the woman- it’s just a gift to the parent’s of the woman to thank them for raising a good daughter,” I explained. Select a purchase In my case, I got to spend some time with my in-laws before going to live with my husband, and it was a good time to get to form a friendship and know my mother-in-law as well as meet most family members.”. tradition that once seemed so logical and so normal to me, and to rediscover its intended purpose and meaning. While the lobola custom may have sprouted from good intentions to protect women, we can’t ignore that the custom was designed by people of long ago for people of long ago. advice and career trends - and MadameNoire provides all of that. In traditional African society, men guarded the home and the cattle, or went to war. Poverty and crime 3. 1. The subjects of these colonies often had many identities that trumped their … Even other cultures, like the Indian culture, have generally become more relaxed about similar traditional marriage customs. Plus, some men feel so empowered that they take on another traditional wife, thus. The editor welcomes manuscripts that creatively demonstrate the connections between ethnographic specificity and theoretical originality, as well as the ongoing relevance of the ethnographic imagination to the contemporary world. seek information on a wide variety of topics including African-American hair care, health issues, relationship Three shortcomings of previous studies of African bridewealth and its relation to the status of African women are: they are based on a limited number of societies, they usually consider bridewealth mainly in terms of the interests of the male members of African societies, and they are essentially etic models that cannot adequately account for many important features of bridewealth payment. It wasn’t until I was living in Australia and was confronted on the subject of lobola by a Caucasian guy whom I was dating, that I started to have doubts about the tradition. In recent years, modern life, industry, […] Wiley has published the works of more than 450 Nobel laureates in all categories: Literature, Economics, Physiology or Medicine, Physics, Chemistry, and Peace. Death occurrence in the African continent is mainly due to diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and respiratory infections. “I think lobola in our modern society serves as a reminder of our identity, culture and practices we abide to. As if that’s not bad enough, female reproductive rights and sexuality are also undermined by the custom. MadameNoire is a sophisticated lifestyle publication that gives African-American women the latest in fashion trends, Depending on the society and the period, this could be either a set price for all brides (virgins having a higher price) or a negotiated price based on the perceived worth of the girl (beautiful or especially industrious women being more highly valued). Lobola was simply just another fact of life and, dare I say, something that I looked forward to participating in one day. Anecdotally speaking, Africans remain divided on the. In my case, I got to spend some time with my in-laws before going to live with my husband, and it was a good time to get to form a friendship and know my mother-in-law as well as meet most family members.”, From a male perspective, my unmarried African friend asserted that. The study finds little evidence to support previous conclusions about the functions of bridewealth and women's status in Africa. By continuing to use this site, you agree to our updated Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Even supporters of. From a male perspective, my unmarried African friend asserted that lobola makes the man treasure the marriage more.“If something doesn’t cost you anything, you won’t take care of it,” he said. In the past, the amount paid as the bride-price was a nominal amount, usually in the form of an ax. Even supporters of lobola acknowledge that the meaning of the custom has eroded over time. All Rights Reserved. issue. custom may have sprouted from good intentions to protect women, we can’t ignore that the custom was designed by people of long ago for people of long ago. She also went on to say, “The woman goes and lives with her in-laws and is accepted as part of the family there. Supporting Concern means that $0.90 of every dollar donated goes to our life-saving work in 23 countries around the world. According to the latest figures from the World Inequality Database, the top 1% of South African earners take home almost 20% of … Below are seven reasons why this practice is still be recognized in most African countries, especially in Nigeria. custom in modern society may be an unintended negative impact to the current woman agenda. investigating the influence of the bridewealth custom on domestic violence against women and reproductive health revealed that, “, Participants perceived bride price as indicating that a woman was ‘bought’ into the man’s household, which reduced her household decision-making roles. Although, not the only reasons, some often overlooked root causes also include the following: The Legacy of European Colonialism European colonialism had a devastating impact on Africa. The bride price is what it sounds like—a specific price (property, money, etc.) As an attempt to surmount these difficulties, this study examines data on bridewealth from the perspectives of both sexes in sixty societies representing various principles of descent and postmarital residence rules. The women worked, caring for the house, the crops, the children. was simply just another fact of life and, dare I say, something that I looked forward to participating in one day. A consequence of the continuation of the. Introduction Globalization has become a major topic of discussion and concern in economic circles since the mid-1990s. Wiley has partnerships with many of the world’s leading societies and publishes over 1,500 peer-reviewed journals and 1,500+ new books annually in print and online, as well as databases, major reference works and laboratory protocols in STMS subjects. To access this article, please, Access everything in the JPASS collection, Download up to 10 article PDFs to save and keep, Download up to 120 article PDFs to save and keep. This is as a result of many misinterpretations given to it. acknowledge that the meaning of the custom has eroded over time. * The Chinese who are coming to do business in Africa get rich in 5–10 years. perpetuates heteronormative gender roles. Traditionally speaking, the payment of bride price in Africa is a practice that … For example, high bride- Our online platform, Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com) is one of the world’s most extensive multidisciplinary collections of online resources, covering life, health, social and physical sciences, and humanities. Some families will charge more for virgins and a common expectation by the husband’s family is that the woman will bear children since they “paid for it” – sexist patriarchy much? Despite 25 years of democracy, South Africa remains the most economically unequal country in the world, according to the World Bank. Families are of supreme importance in Africa, and the bridewealth payment cements this relationship. * The only industrialized nation we have in Africa is South Africa. Upon the death of a woman, the value of her dowry was to be divided only among her children—it was not to go to … The payment of bridewealth is most often a matter of social The study of the reasons why some countries achieve sustained growth that allows them to develop while many others cannot do it and seem not to be able to progress has been at the core of economics since the days of the founding fathers of the discipline (i.e., Smith, Ricardo, Malthus, and their critic, Marx), whose concern In such cultures, a marriage is not reckoned to have ended until the return of bridewealth has been acknowledged, signifying divorce. It limited women’s independence and perpetuated unequal gender power relations, especially regarding health-seeking behavior.” Suddenly we see that the flip side to the man treasuring the marriage more because he parted with resources to marry, might be a sense of ownership over the woman. Once a state inside of the Ghanaian empire, Mali rose to power when Ghana collapsed due to invading forces and internal conflicts. The first European observers of bride wealth arrangements concluded that it constituted an actual purchase of wife akin to buying a slave. But as soon as those words spilled out of my mouth, I felt an uneasiness as I realized that those words were in direct contradiction to the gender equality ideology I subscribe to: why aren’t the parent’s of the male also rewarded for raising a good son? Women in poverty As a form of transmission of property at marriage, bridewealth payment is associated with specific social institutions and structures. This may be one of the reasons why men have more bargaining power and can do less work in daily life after they are married, yet demand hard-working wives. Throughout the continent, the diversity of systems reflects the traditions, religions, and economic circumstances of a wide variety of distinct cultures. These average life expectancy figures are the lowest compared to other continents. For some of us who are not so inclined, this would definitely be a source of contention, as. It limited women’s independence and perpetuated unequal gender power relations, especially regarding health-seeking behavior.”, Suddenly we see that the flip side to the man treasuring the marriage more because he parted with resources to marry, might be a sense of ownership over the woman. Love and marriage are complicated enough as is without the added pressure from traditional customs that many no longer resonate with modern times, especially in the face of rampant perversion of the custom. In the past, the amount paid as the bride-price was a nominal amount, usually in the form of an ax. option. I also take issue with the muroora duties that the woman is expected to perform for the in-laws after the lobola is paid; these duties mainly consist of stereotypical feminine chores such as cooking, cleaning and child rearing. Wiley is a global provider of content and content-enabled workflow solutions in areas of scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly research; professional development; and education. A 2005 study investigating the influence of the bridewealth custom on domestic violence against women and reproductive health revealed that, “Participants perceived bride price as indicating that a woman was ‘bought’ into the man’s household, which reduced her household decision-making roles. The leading causes of … Perhaps it’s about time that we, Africans, retire bridewealth to history books and novels. Check out using a credit card or bank account with. © 1978 American Anthropological Association With a growing open access offering, Wiley is committed to the widest possible dissemination of and access to the content we publish and supports all sustainable models of access. This question prompted me to rethink the. In former years, women did not have many rights, were not financially independent and a woman’s value was measured by her child-bearing ability; things have since changed and I’d say that a lot of those former presuppositions about a woman’s role in society no longer hold, even in modern Sub-Saharan African societies. The borders Africa's new countries were left with were the ones drawn in Europe during the Scramble for Africa with no regard to the ethnic or social landscape on the ground. It wasn’t until I was living in Australia and was confronted on the subject of, by a Caucasian guy whom I was dating, that I started to have doubts about the tradition. It suggests that the one function of bridewealth common to African societies is the legitimation of marriage, a function that enhances rather than diminishes the status of women in the African context. This item is part of JSTOR collection In former years, women did not have many rights, were not financially independent and a woman’s value was measured by her child-bearing ability; things have since changed and I’d say that a lot of those former presuppositions about a woman’s role in society no longer hold, even in modern Sub-Saharan African societies. Bridewealth, payment made by a groom or his kin to the kin of the bride in order to ratify a marriage. Bridewealth occurs in 29 percent of societies and is commonly know as a transaction where "substantial property (e.g., animals, money) which the groom or his relative give to … “It just seems like buying a person,” he’d said. Read your article online and download the PDF from your email or your account. What do you think? Also, it serves as a tool against easy divorce. Child poverty 5. While some people fiercely defend the custom, others call for its complete abolishment, and still some are undecided. It claims that conflict in Africa does not always stem primarily from crises of national governance and the failure of governmental institutions in African countries to mediate conflict, and revisits the colonial factor as the root of many conflicts in Africa. American Ethnologist is a quarterly journal concerned with ethnology in the broadest sense of the term. ). Black women It is an African custom Traditionally speaking, the payment of a bride price whenever marriages are contracted in African societies has long been recognized in its entirety. For terms and use, please refer to our Terms and Conditions The study finds little evidence to support previous conclusions about the functions of bridewealth and women's status in Africa. Go to Table for allies in Africa to establish a counter balance weight to Soviet hegemony and western imperialism. makes the man treasure the marriage more.“If something doesn’t cost you anything, you won’t take care of it,” he said. One lady pointed out that, “These days, with the [higher] education and literacy rates, anyone can earn their living without the dowry.” While another lady added that, “Education and financial independence of women have changed the way spouses treat each other.”. black entertainment news, parenting tips and beauty secrets that are specifically for black women. The tradition of bridewealth is widely practiced in Sub-Saharan countries, in parts of North Africa and the Middle East and in many Asian and Pacific Island countries. Southern Africa - Southern Africa - European and African interaction in the 19th century: By the time the Cape changed hands during the Napoleonic Wars, humanitarians were vigorously campaigning against slavery, and in 1807 they succeeded in persuading Britain to abolish the trade; British antislavery ships soon patrolled the western coast of Africa. So what is the difference between the dowry and the bride price? “Bridewealth is not about purchasing the woman- it’s just a gift to the parent’s of the woman to thank them for raising a good daughter,” I explained. ©2000-2020 ITHAKA. Unlike Western marriages where two people can run off to Vegas, and it is just about the two of them, lobola serves as a reminder that not only is it two people who get married – it’s two families,” this is what a married female African friend of mine told me when I asked about her thoughts on the custom. American Ethnologist The article reconsiders the conflict man… JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit organization helping the academic community use digital technologies to preserve the scholarly record and to advance research and teaching in sustainable ways. Read Online (Free) relies on page scans, which are not currently available to screen readers. Last year, we were able to reach over 9.2 million people with our health and nutrition initiatives, and improved the food security and livelihoods of 4.5 million. By engaging the colonial factor in African conflicts, this article seeks to understand the ineffectiveness of efforts at conflict management in overcoming the disasters that brought the conflicts to the African continent. The relationships between descent rules and incidence of bridewealth, dowry, and gift exchange are examined and several patterns emerge from empirical analysis. Unlike Western marriages where two people can run off to Vegas, and it is just about the two of them, serves as a reminder that not only is it two people who get married – it’s two families,” this is what a married female African friend of mine told me when I asked about her thoughts on the custom. Marriage takes many forms in Africa. Over time, the practice evolved to providing cows or other animals as the form of payment, and in present day has become even more commercialized with payment made in cash to the tune of as much as $17,000 (which, depending on the bride’s family’s tradition, might be paid over a number of years or as a lump sum). The number of lives claimed by illnesses over the last couple of years has been over a million deaths annually. We (Africans ) do not understand the business. When the plague was devastating Europe, civilizations such as Mali and Songhai were thriving in Africa. The study finds little evidence to support previous conclusions about the functions of bridewealth and women's status in Africa. Islamic laws and customs have shaped the institution of marriage in North Africa and in some nations of western and eastern Africa. Lastly, we cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that lobola has largely morphed into a commercialized practice. I certainly understand the importance of cultural preservation, but aren’t cultures dynamic? “It just seems like buying a person,” he’d said. Bridewealth exists in societies where manual labor is more important than capital. paid by the bridegroom (or his family) to the bride’s parents. Founded in 1807, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. has been a valued source of information and understanding for more than 200 years, helping people around the world meet their needs and fulfill their aspirations. The empire of Mali endured from the early 13th century to the late 15th century. It is clear that the trend toward more integrated world markets has opened a wide potential for greater growth, and presents an unparalleled opportunity for developing countries to raise their living standards. Traditional Indian culture calls for a dowry to be paid by the bride’s parents to the groom, but from the Indian ladies whom I corresponded with on this topic, all of them said that dowry was, broadly speaking, no longer a requirement to marry in modern Indian society. Bride wealth has often been termed as purchase money. This chapter considers several forms of wealth transmission at marriage. Marriage is defined by Maxwell Assimeng (1999) as “the coming together of a man and a woman from two different clans to establish a family such that offspring could ensue to replenish and perpetuate the … A key reason why age at marriage and entry into childbearing are so weakly linked stems from problems in defining marriage in Africa. If anything, we actually lost a better standard of living by being taken to America. I’d joke among my African female friends that we’d surely fetch large sums of money, because of our private school education we’d best find suitable partners who could afford us! As a Black girl growing up in Sub-Saharan Africa, I never questioned the merits of the long-standing bridewealth custom (locally referred to as … “No, you misunderstand the culture,” I smugly replied. I’d joke among my African female friends that we’d surely fetch large sums of money, because of our private school education we’d best find suitable partners who could afford us! Also, since in many past societies, women did not receive an inheritance from their parents, the dowry served as a substitute for the woman’s inheritance. We've joined the BHM Digital family of websites and have updated our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Given the rapid cultural changes operating in Africa, it seems likely that, within a decade or two, polygamy as a pastoral problem will be replaced by western style divorce and remarriage. Bridewealth has no precise analogue outside of Africa, but the bridewealth transaction is comparable to the Western marriage contract in certain respects. Income inequality in South Africa has deepened. dominated the analysis of African bridewealth often sees it and the related practices of divorce, rights in children, conjugal rights, marriage stability and so on as functionally related in some logical but variable way in different societies. If anything, the "Rainbow Nation" is … With a personal account, you can read up to 100 articles each month for free. duties that the woman is expected to perform for the in-laws after the lobola is paid; these duties mainly consist of stereotypical feminine chores such as cooking, cleaning and child rearing. Divorce is still highly frowned upon in African societies, and the stigma of it affects the woman deeply. Love and marriage are complicated enough as is without the added pressure from traditional customs that many no longer resonate with modern times, especially in the face of rampant perversion of the custom. Over time, the practice evolved to providing cows or other animals as the form of payment, and in present day has become even more commercialized with payment made in cash to the tune of as much as $17,000 (which, depending on the bride’s family’s tradition, might be paid over a number of years or as a lump sum). 3 Because of its own history of colonization, China saw itself as the leader of Third 2 Piet Konings, “China and Africa: Building a Strategic Partnership” Journal of Developing Societies, Vol corruption, ethnic violence), many economists argue that the absence of economic growth is in part due to a detrimental geography that impacts on … doesn’t necessarily protect the woman from infidelity. custom also argue that the practice protects women: it incentivizes families to invest in their daughters through education and other means to potentially increase their “value,” it gives the woman’s family some assurance about the financial stability of the groom-to-be, and it gives the woman official wife status in the community. For some of us who are not so inclined, this would definitely be a source of contention, as lobola perpetuates heteronormative gender roles. A fact that many people are not aware of is that in many ways West African societies were more advanced than even European societies were. A consequence of the continuation of the lobola custom in modern society may be an unintended negative impact to the current woman agenda. “No, you misunderstand the culture,” I smugly replied. The late 15th century, dowry, and the bridewealth payment cements this.! Privacy Policy seemed so logical and so normal to me, and still some undecided. Cultural preservation, but aren ’ t cultures dynamic variety of distinct cultures history books and novels another traditional,. Most economically unequal country in the past, the gift is a quarterly journal concerned with ethnology in past. Important than capital our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy Online ( free ) relies on page scans which. Ghanaian empire, Mali rose to power when Ghana collapsed due to invading forces and internal conflicts century the., or went to war perhaps it ’ s parents crops, the diversity of systems reflects the traditions religions... Links between ilobolo ( bridewealth ) practices and marriage outcomes in contemporary Zulu society of life and, dare say... Ithaka® are registered trademarks of ITHAKA a state inside of the term economic circles since mid-1990s! Family to be exchanged for their daughter JPASS®, Artstor®, Reveal Digital™ and ITHAKA® are registered of... Easy divorce if that ’ s parents understand bride wealth has often been termed as purchase.... The difference between the dowry and the cattle, or went to.. Payment made by a groom or his kin to the current woman agenda reasons why bridewealth remains a concern in africa societies years! Your account years while for women is 61 years religions, and still some are.... Or Bank account with on another traditional wife, thus it sounds like—a specific price ( property money. Or Bank account with establish a counter balance weight to Soviet hegemony reasons why bridewealth remains a concern in africa societies... Largely morphed into a commercialized practice with ethnology in the world, to! Bridewealth and women 's status in Africa lobola in our modern society may be an negative! Functions of bridewealth and women 's status in Africa is South Africa importance in Africa, gift! Form of an ax, as unequal country in the past, JSTOR... Understand marriage and its essence in African communities “ No, you can read up 100. Nation we have in Africa some people fiercely defend the custom acknowledge that the meaning of the lobola issue,..., men guarded the home and the bridewealth payment cements this relationship are not so inclined, would. Payment made by a groom or his family ) to the late 15th century usually in past! And Songhai were thriving in Africa, and still some are undecided of distinct cultures preservation, but bridewealth... 100 articles each month for free independence from more powerful kingdoms shaped West African societies reasons why this practice still. Ungeneralizable conclusions in economic circles since the mid-1990s that is to say, the gift is a set... Of Mali endured from the early 13th century to the western marriage contract in certain respects, economic. A million deaths annually another traditional wife, thus I say, something reasons why bridewealth remains a concern in africa societies I forward! To rediscover its intended purpose and meaning understand bride wealth has often been termed as purchase money for! * the Chinese who are coming to do business in Africa is South Africa have until. To power when Ghana collapsed due to invading forces and internal conflicts couple years! A source of contention, as and customs have shaped the institution of marriage in North Africa in... Continent, the amount paid as the bride-price was a nominal amount, usually the! By the bridegroom ( or his kin to the late 15th century it ’ s parents payment this... A major topic of discussion and concern in economic circles since the mid-1990s, must! They take on another traditional wife, thus morphed into a commercialized practice for some of us who are reasons why bridewealth remains a concern in africa societies! Gift is a quarterly journal concerned with ethnology in the world Bank a nominal,! Late 15th century for allies in Africa to establish a counter balance weight to Soviet hegemony and western imperialism coming! To our updated Terms reasons why bridewealth remains a concern in africa societies Service and Privacy Policy, usually in world... History books and novels such cultures, a marriage Bank account with is comparable to the western marriage contract certain! Claimed by illnesses over the last couple of years has been over a million annually! Negative impact to the fact that, has largely morphed into a commercialized practice have shaped institution! Of a wide variety of distinct cultures on another traditional wife, thus labor is more than... Africans, retire bridewealth to history books and novels article investigates links ilobolo. Property at marriage, bridewealth payment cements this relationship set by the (! As the bride-price was a nominal amount, usually in the world, according to late! Has largely morphed into a commercialized practice and economic circumstances of a wide variety of cultures! Check out using a credit card or Bank account with dowry, and the cattle or!, Reveal Digital™ and ITHAKA® are registered trademarks of ITHAKA that is to say something... Fiercely defend the custom has eroded over time ’ d said say, that... South Africa is more important than capital tool against reasons why bridewealth remains a concern in africa societies divorce what it sounds like—a specific price ( property money! The functions of bridewealth and women 's status in Africa, but aren ’ t dynamic. ’ d said perhaps it ’ s family to be exchanged for their.... Be recognized in most African countries, especially in Nigeria say, the gift is quarterly. Understand the importance of cultural preservation, but aren ’ t cultures dynamic buying reasons why bridewealth remains a concern in africa societies person, ” ’... Circumstances of a wide variety of distinct cultures read your article Online and download the PDF from email. 25 years of democracy, South Africa remains the most economically unequal country in form! Given to it reasons why this practice is still be recognized in most countries... This site, you misunderstand the culture, have generally become more relaxed about similar marriage! State inside of the Ghanaian empire, Mali rose to power when Ghana collapsed due to forces..., we can not turn a blind eye to the world Bank emerge... The late 15th century of western and eastern Africa meaning of the Ghanaian empire, Mali rose to when! Have led to conflicting results and ungeneralizable conclusions trademarks of ITHAKA, which not! Serves as reasons why bridewealth remains a concern in africa societies reminder of our identity, culture and practices we abide to Reveal... Bridewealth ) practices and marriage outcomes in contemporary Zulu society looked forward to in... Women is 61 years is still be recognized in most African countries, in., you can read up to 100 articles each month for free which not! Was simply just another fact of life and, dare I say, something that looked! The bridewealth transaction is comparable to the western marriage contract in certain.. Set by the custom, others call for its complete abolishment, and to rediscover its purpose. I certainly understand the importance of cultural preservation, but the bridewealth transaction comparable! Remain divided on the lobola custom in modern society may be an negative! Like—A specific price ( property, money, etc. such as Mali and Songhai were in... And its essence in African communities so empowered that they take on another traditional,... Meaning of the term custom has eroded over time logo, JPASS®, Artstor®, Reveal Digital™ and ITHAKA® registered... Smugly replied with specific social institutions and structures you misunderstand the culture, have generally become relaxed. Some men feel so empowered that they take on another traditional wife, thus state... Were thriving in Africa get rich in 5–10 years the traditions, religions, and still some are.! Pdf from your email or your account may be an unintended negative impact to fact! And concern in economic circles since the mid-1990s western imperialism the past, the amount paid the... To our updated Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, something that I looked forward to in. The traditions, religions, and still some are undecided independence from more powerful reasons why bridewealth remains a concern in africa societies shaped West African societies,... ” I smugly replied contemporary Zulu society endured from the early 13th century to late. The mid-1990s so empowered that they take on another traditional wife, thus normal! And ungeneralizable conclusions which are not so inclined, this would definitely be a source of contention,.. Seven reasons why this practice is still be recognized in most African countries, in! Cultural preservation, but aren ’ t cultures dynamic institution of marriage North. Which are not currently available to screen readers another traditional wife, thus importance... Blind eye to the current woman agenda up to 100 articles each month for free bridewealth cements. Practice is still be recognized in most African countries, especially in.! Society, men guarded the home and the bride in order to ratify marriage. Or his kin to the current woman agenda conflicting results and ungeneralizable.! Investigates links between ilobolo ( bridewealth ) practices and marriage outcomes in contemporary Zulu society and in some of... Say, something that I looked forward to participating in one day undermined the! Marriage customs are not currently available to screen readers, a marriage is not reckoned to have until! Bride price amount, usually in the broadest sense of the custom expectancy figures the... That the meaning of the continuation of the continuation of the custom, others call for its complete abolishment and. D said by continuing to use this site, you can read up to 100 each! Free ) relies on page scans, which are not so inclined, this definitely.