Dowry facts for kids
A dowry (also known as trousseau or tocher) is the money, goods, or estate that is given to a woman at the time of her marriage. A dowry creates a fund for her support in case her husband dies. The dowry eventually goes to her sons and daughters of this marriage. At times a dowry was required to validate a marriage.
Dowry started as gifts that were handed out to the bride at the time of marriage to make her stay at in-laws place more comfortable. It has hence taken an ugly turn, many parts of India still have a high incidence of dowry demands.
Jadeite Cabbage - Jin received it as part of her dowry for her wedding to Guangxu, in 1889; originally displayed in Forbidden City (Beijing), it is now in National Palace Museum (Taipei City).
The dowry for the three virgins (Gentile da Fabriano, c. 1425, Pinacoteca Vaticana, Rome), the St. Nicholas legend.
Fra Angelico's painting: The Story of St Nicholas - Giving Dowry to Three Poor Girls. The 15th century painting relates to the story of a poor man with three daughters. In those days a young woman's father had to offer prospective husbands a dowry. Without a dowry, a woman was unlikely to marry. Mysteriously, on three occasions, so goes the story, a bag of gold appeared in their home, for the dowries, courtesy of St Nicholas. Later, St Nicholas came to be known as Santa Claus.
Muslim girls waiting in streets of Ouled Nail, Algeria to earn dowry as dancers - a centuries-old tradition. Algerian patrons would invite them at cafés, festivals or to shrines of Muslim awliya. When their dowries were adequate they returned to their mountain villages and would marry within the tribe (photo is from the late 19th century, courtesy of Tropenmuseum, The Netherlands). This tradition has continued through modern history of Algeria.
Images for kids
In Spanish: Dote para niños
Dowry Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.