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Many cultures practiced bride pricing prior to existing records.The tradition of giving bride price is practiced in many Asian countries, the Middle East, parts of Africa and in some Pacific Island societies, notably those in Melanesia.Bridewealth exists in societies where manual work is more important than capital.In South-Saharan Africa, land was abundant, there were few or no domesticated animals, manual work was therefore important, and therefore bridewealth dominated.Dowry exists in societies where capital is more important than manual work.For instance, in Middle Age Europe, a wife had to bring a dowry - land, cattle and money.The ketubah provided for an amount to be paid by the husband in the event of a divorce (get) or by his estate in the event of his death.
In the Jewish tradition, the rabbis in ancient times insisted on the marriage couple's entering into a marriage contract, called a ketubah.
Bride price can be compared to dowry, which is paid to the groom, or used by the bride to help establish the new household and dower, which is property settled on the bride herself by the groom at the time of marriage.
Some cultures may practice both dowry and bride price simultaneously.
There are frequent gatherings in restaurants, bars, churches, museums or country walks.
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