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From bridewealth to dowry? A Bayesian estimation of ancestral states of marriage transfers in Indo-European groups

Fortunato, L; Holden, C; Mace, R; (2006) From bridewealth to dowry? A Bayesian estimation of ancestral states of marriage transfers in Indo-European groups. HUMAN NATURE-AN INTERDISCIPLINARY BIOSOCIAL PERSPECTIVE , 17 (4) 355 - 376. Green open access

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Abstract

Significant amounts of wealth have been exchanged as part of marriage settlements throughout history. Although various models have been proposed for interpreting these practices, their development over time has not been investigated systematically. In this paper we use a Bayesian MCMC phylogenetic comparative approach to reconstruct the evolution of two forms of wealth transfers at marriage, dowry and bridewealth, for 51 Indo-European cultural groups. Results indicate that dowry is more likely to have been the ancestral practice, and that a minimum of four changes to bridewealth is necessary to explain the observed distribution of the two states across the cultural groups.

Type: Article
Title: From bridewealth to dowry? A Bayesian estimation of ancestral states of marriage transfers in Indo-European groups
Location: Berlin, GERMANY
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Keywords: ancestral states, Bayesian MCMC phylogenetic and comparative methods, bridewealth, dowry, Indo-European, marriage transfers, CHAIN MONTE-CARLO, PHYLOGENETIC INFERENCE, DISCRETE CHARACTERS, TREES, EVOLUTION, CLASSIFICATION, LANGUAGES, SEQUENCE, SUPPORT, AFRICA
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/3902
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