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A dowry is the money, goods, or estate that a woman brings to a marriage. (A dowry consisting mainly of linen and clothing, or the contents of a hope chest is called a trousseau.) Dowry contrasts with bride price, which is paid by the groom or his family to the bride's parents, and with dower, which is property given to the bride herself by the groom at the time of marriage. The same culture may simultaneously practice both dowry and bride price. Dowry is an ancient custom, and its existence may well predate records of it. Dowries continue to be expected in some parts of the world, mainly India.
There are several possible functions for a dowry system. One function of a dowry may be to provide the husband with "seed money" or property for the establishment of a new household and to help feed and protect the family. Another may be to provide the wife and children with some support if he were to die.
Another function of the dowry may be as compensation for bride price. This may be the case in cultures where the dowry and bride price are both customary.
Many authors believe that the giving and receiving of dowry reflects social status and even the effort to climb higher in a social hierarchy.
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. This would apply in cultures where a dowry was expected to be returned to the bride's family if she died soon after marrying.
Dowry versus bride price 
"Dowry" refers to money, goods or property that a woman brings into the marriage - it is paid by the woman's family to the man's family. Dowry is practiced mainly in South Asian countries, such as India.
"Bride price" refers to money, goods or property paid by the groom or his family to the parents of the bride. It is paid by the groom's family to the bride's family.
Current dowry practices 
Today, dowry is a common practice in some parts of the world, especially in South Asia, in countries such as India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal. Dowry is most common in patrilineal societies, which expect women to live with or near their husband’s family.
An unusual exception to the dowry custom in South Asia is found in Bhutan. The dowry system does not exist in Bhutan; inheritance is matrilineal, and daughters do not take their father's name at birth, nor their husband's name upon marriage. Rural land may be registered in a woman's name. Women own businesses, and both polyandry and polygyny are socially accepted, with polygyny being more prevalent. Sometimes a prospective groom will work in the bride's family's household to earn the right to marry her.
Dowry killings 
The expected value of the dowry has risen in some cultures in recent decades. This phenomenon has led to a sharp increase in "dowry deaths" since the 1980s. A "dowry killing" occurs when a new wife is murdered by her husband or in-laws if they are unhappy with her, rather than sending her back to her parents, which would force the in-laws to return the dowry to the bride's parents. Statistics in India show that 90% of such murdered brides were educated, 30% were graduates, and 20% were women who worked outside the home and contributed to the family financially. Dowry killings have been described by women's rights groups as a problem that is typically among the "emergent urban middle class", who aspire to greater material prosperity, and the dowry that comes with a wife is viewed as a means of obtaining money and consumer goods.
Murders are typically carried out by burning the bride to death, a practice influenced by the older custom of sati, where a mourning widow would die by throwing herself onto the burning funeral pyre of her late husband. Although sati has been banned since 1829, it is a custom that has been admired in the past by many Indians as a sign of great fidelity. In some instances today, the bride is driven to commit suicide by self-immolation following abuse by her husband and in-laws. These deaths are also considered "dowry deaths" by many women's rights groups.
The practise of the dowry has been pinpointed as the cause of these killings. However, the roots of the problem, and possible solutions, are more complex. Feminists in South Asia, such as India's Madhu Kishwar—editor of the Delhi-based feminist magazine Manushi—point out that inheritance laws in India discriminate against women, with inheritances being left only to sons. This leaves women dependent upon their husbands and in-laws, who keep the dowry when she marries. It has also been pointed out that a modern complication is the fact that young educated, middle class Indian women experience some independence when they work outside the home, and this may lead towards conflict with new in-laws who expect them to be completely obedient and subservient.
In India, dowry (known as Daheji in Hindi) is a payment of cash or gifts from the bride's family to the bridegroom's family upon marriage. It may include cash, jewelry,electrical appliances, furniture, bedding, crockery, utensils and other household items that help the newly-weds set up their home.
In India, the dowry system puts great financial strain on the bride's family. This has been cited as one of the reasons for families resorting to sex selection,favoring the birth of sons over daughters. This has distorted the sex ratio in India (933 females per thousand males) due to sex-selective abortion.
Payment of dowry is now prohibited under The 1961 Dowry Prohibition Act in Indian civil law and subsequently by Sections 304B and 498a of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Despite anti-dowry laws in India, it is still a common illegal practice. Other laws attempting to address the problem include the Dowry and Bridal Gifts Restrictions Rules, 1976 and the Dowry Prohibition (Maintenance of Lists of Presents to the Bride and Bridegroom) Rules, 1985, which are intended to document gifts and provide complainants with stronger evidence in the event that prosecution for crimes against the bride occurs later.
8,391 dowry deaths were reported in India in 2010. Dowry deaths number in the hundreds each year in Delhi alone, according to official government statistics; statistics compiled by women's rights groups are higher. Women's rights groups estimate the annual dowry murder rate in Delhi to be around 900 per year, having increased from around 300 per year during the 1990s. In India, domestic violence is seldom reported to the police. Statistics compiled by the police in Delhi show that only 18% of prosecutions involving dowry killings result in conviction. 18% dowry death cases end in conviction. The problem first gained national media attention in India during the 1970s, when a new generation of female journalists began investigating the scope of the murders in India's newspapers. Statistics show a large increase in such murders since the 1980s.
Dowry killings have risen since the mid-1980s throughout the country, spreading from Delhi and other regions with a history of them, into the rest of India, including Mumbai. Dowry killings were once a Hindu phenomenon, but have spread to Muslim, Christian, and Sikh communities as well. According to one survey conducted by the reputable Indian news magazine India Today, over 90% of government employees actively seek and get a dowry from their bride's family. It is a common feature for unmarried civil servants to seek dowry matching the market rates of their post. These rates are sky-high, with an estimate of dowry rates for a bachelor IAS Officer (Indian Administrative Services) being as high as Rs 50 Lac to Rs 5 Crore (up to USD 1 Million). These high rates are one of the primary reasons for corruption, as young IAS officers after marriage are forced to take bribes to maintain their new lifestyle and to match the financial status of their wealthy in-laws.
The original custom in Bangladesh was the bride price, called pawn, where the groom's family makes a payment to the bride's parents. This has gradually been replaced by the dowry, called joutuk. This transition in customs began in the 1960s. By the early 21st century, the brideprice has been supplanted by the dowry.
Like India, Bangladesh has seen a rise in the expected size of dowries in recent decades, as its middle class has grown, and there has been an accompanying rise in the rate of "dowry deaths". In Bangladesh, dowry killings are more frequently done by stabbing or poison rather than burning. Dowry extortion is also a problem in Bangladesh. From January to October 2009, more than 3,413 complaints were made to the police in Bangladesh concerning beatings and other abuses related to dowries. One of the methods used by families who are unhappy with dowry includes acid throwing, in which concentrated acid is thrown on the bride's face to cause disfiguration and social isolation. From 1995-1998, 15 women reported dowry disputes as the motivation behind acid attacks, though that number may be low due to under reporting. Bangladesh is combatting the problem with legislation largely copied from that of India. Laws prohibiting dowry in Bangladesh include Dowry Prohibition Act, 1980; Dowry Prohibition (Amendment) Ordinance, 1982; and Dowry Prohibition (Amendment) Ordinance, 1986.
Pakistan has seen a rise in the values of dowries in recent decades, as in other South Asian countries, although to a lesser extent. The extravagance of dowries has been condemned by many Pakistanis as being counter to Muslim teachings, and it is not based upon Islamic law. This appeal to morality has had some success since the 1990s. However, in Pakistan it is still expected that a bride will bring some kind of dowry with her to a marriage, whether she is Muslim, Hindu, or Christian. The Dower (bride price), called mahr, and dowry, called jahaiz, are both customs with long histories in Pakistan. Today, the dowry will often consist of jewelry, clothing, and money.
Control of the dowry belongs to the bride in theory, although in practice control often transfers to the husband and in-laws, and grooms sometimes extort large dowries. In rural Pakistan, dowry values are still relatively low, around 12% of a household's annual (non-durable goods) expenses. 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. The pressure among some Pakistanis to provide a large dowry results in some bride's families going into debt, including debt servitude; some brides build up their dowry with their own earnings if they work outside the home. The debt trap created by providing large dowries puts pressure on parents aspiring to arrange a marriage for their daughter(s) into a better social class. It is also cited as a reason for the current trend toward delayed marriages. Arranged marriages among first cousins are common, since they provide a way of keeping dowries within an extended family.
Dowry deaths are a widespread problem in Pakistan; often referred to as "stove deaths" to blame the deaths on accidents, killing a bride by setting her on fire is the preferred method, as it is in India. During 2004 to 2009, an estimated 3,379 dowry killings occurred, in addition to some 8,041 women killed over other types of property disputes.
Pakistan has passed several laws to address the problem of excessive dowry demands: West Pakistan Dowry (Prohibition of Display) Act, 1967; Dowry and Bridal Gifts (Restriction) Act, 1976. Women's rights to inheritance separate from the dowry are offered some protection in the Muslim Personal Law of Shariat of 1948 and the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance of 1961.
The practice of dowry is common in Nepal, and dowry-related violence is increasingly becoming a problem. As a result, the dowry system has been banned in Nepal. Despite the laws, the violent incidents continue, under a general perception of impunity. People of the Madhesi society still freely welcome dowry as a right to the groom's side. Even highly-educated people living in the urban areas of Nepal accept dowry without any second thoughts. Parents have thus started dreading the birth of daughters in the family, going as far as determining the sex of fetuses in order to abort daughters. Many deaths have also been caused by not giving dowry to the groom's side.
The dowry trend may soon be on the decline in Nepalese society, as contemporary parents are more likely to treat sons and daughters as equals, to invest in their daughters' educations as much as they do for their sons, and to divide assets equally.
Afghanistan seems to simultaneously practice both dowry and bride price, although the practice differs between different tribal and ethnic groups. In Afghanistan, a marriage typically requires two kinds of payments: a mahr, which typically consists of livestock, property and money, and in practice often takes the form of a bride price paid to woman's family; and a dowry brought by the bride to her husband's home which may include various goods such as clothing, bedding and household utensils. Parents frequently arrange marriages for daughters at a young age, in order to end their economic responsibility for their daughter or receive payments. Human trafficking is a related social problem. Prostitution networks in the region purchase girls from parents.
Vietnam has a custom of dowry payments that dates from the arrival of Confucianism during the 15th century. There is evidence that prior to the dowry custom, an earlier custom of dower, or bride price, was standard. The custom of the dower survived in south Vietnam until the 17th century. In Vietnam, the dowry was considered bride wealth, remaining under her actual control, rather than being given to her father and passed down as an inheritance to sons. In some instances, where a bride's parents were given the dowry, they then gave part of the dowry to the bride. Although this reflected the relatively high status that Vietnamese women held in their culture, and enabled them to have a certain degree of independence, the practise was condemned by Christian missionaries as a form of wife-buying.
Ancient Babylon 
Even in the oldest available records, such as the Code of Hammurabi in ancient Babylon, the dowry is described as an already-existing custom. Regulations surrounding the custom include: the wife being entitled to her dowry at her husband's death as part of her dower, her dowry being inheritable only by her own children, not by her husband's children by other women, and a woman not being entitled to a (subsequent) inheritance if her father had provided her dowry in marriage. If a woman died without sons, her husband had to refund the dowry but could deduct the value of the bride price; the dowry would normally have been the larger of the sums.
Ancient Rome 
In Rome a dowry was called donatio propter nuptias. The meaning of this term is a gift on account of marriage, specifically a gift from the bridegroom to the bride, as explained in the Institutiones (2 7 §3). It was originally called 'donatio ante nuptias', because it could not take place after the marriage; but when it was made legal to increase the donatio after marriage, and even to constitute it altogether after marriage, the more comprehensive term 'donatio propter nuptias' was used. It is in many ways analogous to Mahr the Islamic marriage gift (or legally binding promise of future payment) from the man to the woman at the time of the marriage.
Opinions of modern jurists are much divided as to the notions, purpose, and law of the donatio propter nuptias. The term donatio propter nuptias is used by Bracton (II. c39); the law is apparently formed upon a Roman original.
India before European influence 
Dowry was not a part of the Indian marriage before European influence crept into the society. The earliest example of Europeans practicing the dowry in India, the case of Mumbai, which was presented as part of the dowry when Princess Catherine de Braganza of Portugal was married to King Charles II in 1661. The native population disliked practicing dowry, as they believed that this would lead "obliged to buy them husbands". Writes Alex Knox, when addressed to David Doig, Lord Provost of Montrose, "As I observed before, their marriages are all conducted by the parents during the parties infancy, the expence of this ceremoney, which is considerable according to the ranks of the persons married, is always from the bridegroom's family, nor is it customary to give any fortunes with their daughters, because it should not be said they were obliged to buy them husbands, for this custom it seems they despise the Europeans very much."
North America 
Indigenous cultures 
According to one ethnographic study of indigenous cultures worldwide, around 6 percent of North American indigenous cultures practised reciprocal exchange, involving the giving of gifts between both the bride and groom's families. Among the tribes of the American Plains, a combination of dower and dowry was used. The groom would give a gift of horses to the bride's parents, while they in turn would give a gift to the groom. The exchange was somewhat reciprocal.
Spanish colonists brought the dowry custom to Mexico. Spain's laws gave brides the right to control their dowry after marriage, contrary to the usual European practise of transferring the dowry to the control of the groom and his family. Women in practise often did maintain control over their dowry after marriage. 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. Dowries were a common custom in the early colonial years, but were passing out of use by the mid-18th century. By that time, less wealthy daughters were often marrying without any dowry.
New France 
The French government made efforts to encourage marriage for the male soldiers and traders in New France by granting dowries to women willing to travel to the colony at Quebec. As the French crown provided dowries for many of the women persuaded to travel to New France for marriages and settlement there, they were known as filles du roi (daughters of the king).
Convents in Quebec, as in Europe, required a dowry from the parents of girls becoming nuns, much as the dowry was expected in the marriages of upper class brides. The Catholic Church intended for this requirement to be used to maintain some control over the new members of religious communities. Girls without a dowry were often supported by benefactors, however, and occasionally convents lowered the sum required to enter the convent.
United States 
The dowry was a custom brought to the United States by colonists from England and elsewhere in Europe. One legend tells how John Hull, the Master of the Mint in Boston and a wealthy man, determined the dowry for his daughter Hannah's marriage to Samuel Sewall. Hull is said to have set his 18-year-old daughter onto one side of the large scales in his warehouse. He piled shillings into the other side of the scale until he reached her weight in silver, and that was her dowry.
The dowry system existed in certain Native American tribes. An example is found in the marriage of Virginia settler John Rolfe to Pocahontas, who brought a dowry to the marriage that included a large amount of land.
The daughters of wealthy 19th century industrialists, who were able to inherit large amounts of money and property, were given "dowries" by their fathers to marry European aristocrats who held a title but had little wealth. The mutual exchange of title and wealth raised the status of both bride and groom.
Dowry was widely practiced in Europe until the early modern era. In ancient Greece, the usual Greek practice was to give a bride price. Dowries were exchanged in the later classical time (5th century BC). Ancient Romans also practiced dowry, though Tacitus notes that the Germanic tribes practiced the reverse custom of the dower. A husband had certain property rights in his wife's dowry. In addition, the wife might bring to the marriage property of her own, which was not included in the dowry and which was, as a result, hers alone. This property was "beyond the dowry" (Greek: parapherna, the root of paraphernalia) and was known as paraphernal property or extra-dotal property.
In England, failure to provide a customary, or agreed-upon, dowry could cause a marriage to be called off. William Shakespeare made use of such an event in King Lear: one of Cordelia's suitors gives up his suit upon hearing that King Lear will give her no dowry. In Measure for Measure, Claudio and Juliet's premarital sex was brought about by their families' wrangling over dowry after the betrothal. Angelo's motive for forswearing his betrothal with Mariana was the loss of her dowry at sea.
Folklorists often interpret the French folk tale Cinderella as the competition between the stepmother and the stepdaughter for resources, which may include the need to provide a dowry. Gioachino Rossini's opera La Cenerentola makes this economic basis explicit: Don Magnifico wishes to make his own daughters' dowry larger, to attract a grander match, which is impossible if he must provide a third dowry.
One common penalty for the kidnapping and rape of an unmarried woman was that the abductor or rapist had to provide the woman's dowry. Until the late 20th century this was sometimes called wreath money, or the breach of promise. (See raptio and bride kidnapping.)
Providing dowries for poor women was regarded as a form of charity by wealthier parishioners. The custom of Christmas stockings springs from a legend of St. Nicholas, in which he threw gold in the stockings of three poor sisters, thus providing for their dowries. St. Elizabeth of Portugal and St. Martin de Porres were particularly noted for providing such dowries, and the Archconfraternity of the Annunciation, a Roman charity dedicated to providing dowries, received the entire estate of Pope Urban VII.
In some parts of Europe, especially Eastern Europe, land dowries were common. In the County of Bentheim, for instance, parents who had no sons might give a land dowry to their new son-in-law. It was commonly given with the condition that he take the surname of his bride, in order to continue the family name.
The Domostroy, a Russian advice book of the sixteenth century for upper classes, includes advice to set aside property for purposes of a dowry, and use it to accumulate linens, clothings, and other things for it, rather than have to suddenly buy it all for the wedding; if the daughter should happen to die, the dowry should be used to give alms and for prayers for her soul, although some might be set aside for other daughters. In late Tsarist Russia the dowry originally consisted of clothing for the bride, linen, and bedding. Linen became less common, a fact blamed on poor flax harvest and girls being poor spinners, but emphasis was added to the finest of the clothing, and a money dowry was sometimes added, particularly if the bride was regarded as having some fault. Prospective in-laws, usually concerned mostly with her working ability, grew more concerned about a money dowry.
Vast inheritances were standard as dowries for aristocratic and royal brides in Europe during the Middle Ages. The Portuguese crown gave two cities as dowry to the British Crown in 1661 when King Charles II of England, Scotland and Ireland married Catherine of Braganza, a princess of Portugal. They were Mumbai (Bombay) in India and Tangier in Morocco.
In Victorian England, dowries were viewed by the upper class as an early payment of the daughter's inheritance. Only daughters who had not received their dowries were entitled to part of the estate when their parents died. If a couple died without children, the woman's dowry was returned to her family.
In some cases, nuns were required to bring a dowry when joining a convent. At some times, such as Ancien Régime France, convents were also used by some parents to put less attractive daughters, so that the more marriagable daughters could have larger dowries. Ancien Régime families that could not provide proper dowries also used the convents as places to put their daughters.
South America 
The dowry was a custom brought to Brazil by Portuguese settlers. Colonial economics meant that families had a great stake in inheritances of land in particular. As in Europe, the eldest daughter was usually granted the largest dowry by her father. Variations were not unusual, however, as research has shown in São Paulo, 31% of fathers gave dowries of increasing size to the younger daughters, and 21% distributed dowries with no particular favour shown to birth order of the daughters. In addition to dowries, daughters could also be granted an inheritance from their father, a share of the legìtima. Inheritance laws were complex in colonial Brazil. According to Portuguese law, an estate was to be divided among children who had not already received a dowry. In the early colonial period, married daughters receiving a large dowry would refuse to accept a further inheritance after the death of their father. In the 18th century, as inheritances and dowries gradually became smaller, this custom disappeared. Daughters accepted a dowry, plus a legìtima. In this way, they folded their dowry back into the estate with the legìtima, called bringing the dowry à colação. The remaining third of the estate, the terça, was free for the father to divide as he wished among his heirs.
There were instances where a daughter was left to marry without a dowry, whereas her sisters were given dowries, an indication of paternal control over marriage choices. During the 18th century, as inheritances decreased in size, litigation among siblings became more common. Dowries could include land, a house in the city, cash, gold dust, gold bars, tools and machinery, cattle, or horses. By the 19th century, economic changes meant that men, typically merchants, brought more to the marriage materially, and the economic dynamics of marriage changed.
See also 
- Dowry – Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
- Dowry - Reference.com, from The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 2004
- Nigel Guy Wilson. "Dowry". Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece. 2002.
- Stange, Mary Zeiss, and Carol K. Oyster, Jane E. Sloan (2011). Encyclopedia of Women in Today's World, Volume 1. SAGE. p. 43. ISBN 9781412976855.
- Tanwar, Reicha (2007). Dowry, the North Indian Perspective. Hope India Publications. ISBN 9788178711270.
- Majumdar, Maya (2005). Encyclopaedia of Gender Equality Through Women Empowerment. Sarup & Sons. p. 74. ISBN 9788176255486.
- Majumdar, Maya (2005). Encyclopaedia of Gender Equality Through Women Empowerment. Sarup & Sons. pp. 72–73. ISBN 9788176255486.
- Jones, Gavin W. (1997). The Continuing Demographic Transition. Oxford University Press. pp. 290–1. ISBN 9780198292579.
- Menski, Werner (1998). South Asians and the Dowry Problem. Trentham Books. p. 109. ISBN 9781858561417.
- Annual Report: Bangladesh 2010. Amnesty International. 2010.
- International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific. Baseline Report: Violence Against Women in Bangladesh. 1-78.
- Walbridge, Linda S. (2003). The Christians of Pakistan: The Passion of Bishop John Joseph. Routledge. p. 134. ISBN 9780700716562.
- Esposito, John L. and Natana J. DeLong-Bas (2001). Women in Muslim Family Law. Syracuse University Press. p. 85. ISBN 9780815629085.
- Bride Exchange and Women's Welfare in Rural Pakistan. World Bank Publications. p. 4.
- Singh, Sarina, and Lindsay Brown, Paul Clammer, Rodney Cocks, John Mock (2008). Pakistan and the Karakoram Highway. Lonely Planet. p. 42. ISBN 9781741045420.
- Menski, Werner (1998). South Asians and the Dowry Problem. Trentham Books. p. 165. ISBN 9781858561417.
- "'Honour' killings, dowry deaths". The Nation. May 8, 2010. Retrieved May 13, 2012.
- Hughes, Sarah S. and Brady Hughes (1995). Women in World History: Readings from prehistory to 1500. M.E. Sharpe. p. 209. ISBN 9781563243110.
- Thompson, James C., B.A., M.Ed., Women in the Ancient World: Women in Babylonia Under the Hammurabi Law Code
- A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London, 1875
- MAHARASHTRA TOURISM, The Official Website of Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation, Govt. of India - Mumbai
- Oxford :Bodleian : MS Deuce 328: 46 pages (ff 23): dated : Bombay 20 Nov 1753: signed Alex Knox: addressed to David Doig, Lord Provost of Montrose.
- Archival Compilations of Dharampal - Volume 1 
- Ferraro, Gary P., and Susan Andreatta (2009). Cultural Anthropology: An Applied Perspective. Cengage Learning. p. 224. ISBN 9780495601920.
- Deogaonkar, S.G. (2002). Native Americans And Native Indians. Concept Publishing Company. p. 48. ISBN 9788170229094.
- Mangan, Jane E. (2005). Trading Roles: Gender, Ethnicity, and the Urban Economy in Colonial Potosí. Duke University Press. p. 237. ISBN 9780822334705.
- Mangan, Jane E. (2005). Trading Roles: Gender, Ethnicity, and the Urban Economy in Colonial Potosí. Duke University Press. p. 140. ISBN 9780822334705.
- Socolow, Susan Migden (2000). The Women of Colonial Latin America. Cambridge University Press. p. 83. ISBN 9780521476423.
- Larry D. Eldridge, ed. (1997). Women and Freedom in Early America. NYU Press. p. 116. ISBN 9780814721988.
- Archaeologia Americana: transactions and collections of the American Antiquarian Society, Volume 3. American Antiquarian Society, digitized by University of Wisconsin at Madison. 1857. pp. 274–5.
- Mirza, Rocky M. (2007). The Rise and Fall of the American Empire: A Re-Interpretation of History, Economics and Philosophy: 1492-2006. Trafford Publishing. p. 83. ISBN 9781425113834.
- Marina Warner, From the Beast to the Blonde: On Fairy Tales And Their Tellers, pp. 213–4 ISBN 0-374-15901-7
- Carolyn Johnston Pouncey, The Domostroi: Rules for Russian Households in the Time of Ivan the Terrible, p95 ISBN 0-8014-9689-6
- Olga Semyonova Tian-Shanskaia, Village Life in Late Tsarist Russia, p3-4 1993, Indiana University Press, Bloomington and Indianopolis.
- Olga Semyonova Tian-Shanskaia, Village Life in Late Tsarist Russia, p66 1993, Indiana University Press, Bloomington and Indianopolis
- Gail MacColl and Carol McD. Wallace, To Marry An English Lord, pp. 166–7, ISBN 0-89480-939-3
- "Convent", Catholic Encyclopedia
- Louis Auchincloss, False Dawn, p 42 ISBN 0-385-18021-7
- Louis Auchincloss, False Dawn, p 48 ISBN 0-385-18021-7
- Nazzari, Muriel (1991). Disappearance of the Dowry: Women, Families, and Social Change in São Paulo, Brazil (1600-1900). Stanford University Press. p. 63. ISBN 9780804719285.
- Nazzari, Muriel (1991). Disappearance of the Dowry: Women, Families, and Social Change in São Paulo, Brazil (1600-1900). Stanford University Press. pp. 65–7. ISBN 9780804719285.
- Nazzari, Muriel (1991). Disappearance of the Dowry: Women, Families, and Social Change in São Paulo, Brazil (1600-1900). Stanford University Press. p. 67. ISBN 9780804719285.
- Nazzari, Muriel (1991). Disappearance of the Dowry: Women, Families, and Social Change in São Paulo, Brazil (1600-1900). Stanford University Press. p. 73. ISBN 9780804719285.
Further reading 
- Hirsch, Jennifer S., Wardlow, Holly, Modern loves: the Anthropology of Romantic Courtship & Companionate Marriage, Macmillan, 2006. ISBN 0-472-09959-0. Cf. Chapter 1 "Love and Jewelry", on contrasting a dowry and a bride price.