Kenya: The Bride Price

That hallowed tribal custom, the bride price, is coming under fire. Africa's young bachelors, caught between higher education and even higher inflation, are growing increasingly unhappy at the ancient laws that force the prospective groom to buy his bride from her parents. In Kenya, the dowry is often the equivalent of five years of the groom's expectable income, usually payable in postmarital installments of livestock, bicycles and money. By the time the bartering is over and the wedding rolls around, only his in-laws have much cause for celebration: rather than losing a daughter, they are gaining a herd of...

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