A dowry may also have served as a form of protection for the wife against the possibility of ill treatment by her husband and his family,  providing an incentive for the husband not to harm his wife. It is also cited as a reason for the current trend toward delayed marriages. In India, the dowry system puts great financial strain on the bride's family. Al-Biruni claimed, The implements of the wedding rejoicings are brought forward. The exchange was somewhat reciprocal. Spain's laws gave brides the right to control their dowry after marriage, contrary to the usual European practice of transferring the dowry to the control of the groom and his family.
Some scholars believe dowry was practiced in antiquity, but some do not. Often a woman who brought a large dowry was considered more virtuous in Chinese culture than one who didn't. It is also unclear when, why and how quickly the practice of dowry demand by grooms began, and whether this happened after the arrival of colonialism in the 16th century. The mutual exchange of title and wealth raised the status of both bride and groom. Elizabeth of Portugal and St. By testing, it is revealed that the claims are false, and the hero's true. Until the late 20th century this was sometimes called wreath money , or the breach of promise. Documentary evidence suggests that at the beginning of 20th century, bride price , rather than dowry was the common custom, which often resulted in poor boys remaining unmarried. Colonial economics meant that families had a great stake in inheritances of land in particular. Mysteriously, on three occasions, so goes the story, a bag of gold appeared in their home, for the dowries, courtesy of St Nicholas. However, bride price almost always became part of the dowry. Single women held many rights men did. In India, the dowry system puts great financial strain on the bride's family. William Shakespeare made use of such an event in King Lear: The husband might be given funds from the dowry to invest for the mutual benefit of the couple and their children, but wives also often used funds from their dowries to operate their own businesses, as grocers, tavern keepers, and shop owners in urban areas. Also, in rural Pakistan it is standard for the bride to maintain control over her dowry after marriage, rather than control of the dowry being given to the in-laws. Dowries make women more valuable, which pushes against the background of widespread corruption and political and gender violence. Instead its main function is now to support family advancement by mobilizing additional resources. The daughter took this inheritance amount with her when she married, claimed Al-Biruni, and she had no rights to income from her parents after her marriage or to any additional inheritance after her father's death. Arrian's first book mentions a lack of dowry, They these ancient Indian people make their marriages accordance with this principle, for in selecting a bride they care nothing whether she has a dowry and a handsome fortune, but look only to her beauty and other advantages of the outward person. In , Nepal enacted the Social Customs and Practices Act outlawing dowry; however, there have been no known cases of enforcement. The wife's male relatives controlled the dowry but she retained sole ownership of the dowry and wedding gifts. The Temple Girl fits the above prototype, since she gets the credit which actually belongs to the Mermaid for saving the Prince's life and wins his love. In Nepal, the practice of dowry is closely related to social prestige; and dowry violence is especially prevalent in the Terai belt. Anthropologist Jack Goody 's comparative study of dowry systems around the world utilizing the Ethnographic Atlas demonstrated that dowry is a form of inheritance found in the broad swath of Eurasian societies from Japan to Ireland that practice "diverging devolution", i. This effectively ended the concept of dowry as the property of a single woman was either retained by her after marriage or its income became marital property under joint control with a husband not under his sole control as in coverture. Such false heroes include Cinderella 's stepsisters, who chop off parts of their feet to fit the shoe, but are given away by the blood;  the washerwoman's daughter in Black Bull of Norroway , whose mother lies about who washed the blood out of the hero's shirt, but whose lies are given away when the heroine bribes her way to the hero; the king's marshall in The Two Brothers , who chops off the dragon's seven heads, but only after the huntsman hero has cut out the dragon's tongues, so that when the heads are displayed, the huntsman can observe that their tongues are missing a common motif when a false hero claims to have killed a monster ;  and the older brothers in The Golden Bird , who try to kill their younger brother and do steal his prizes, but when the youngest survives, those prizes recognize him as the true hero.
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