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How much a Sartarite dowry is for different social classes?

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How much a Sartarite dowry is for different social classes? And are bride prices common, and how much would they be?

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I'm thinking this should probably relate to the ransom level. 50-100% of ransom makes sense to me (although it could be higher if people start to go crazy about things).

And yes, both dowry and bride price is standard (they do pretty different theoretical things - bride price is to compensate the (typically) woman's clan for the loss of her work force, dowry is to create some financial security for her because she can bring back some wealth if she leaves). There's is every opportunity for both parties to jointly jack up bride price and dowry for a status increase, although this comes with some risk for the man's clan (I'm fully expecting the PC household and the Burisons to do this for an upcoming wedding in my campaign, as both have very solid finances for Free households). 

I know there's a scene in King of Dragon Pass where we get an explicit dowry level, but i can't remember what it was.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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4 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

I'm thinking this should probably relate to the ransom level. 50-100% of ransom makes sense to me (although it could be higher if people start to go crazy about things).

And yes, both dowry and bride price is standard (they do pretty different theoretical things - bride price is to compensate the (typically) woman's clan for the loss of her work force, dowry is to create some financial security for her). There's is every opportunity for both parties to jointly jack up bride price and dowry for a status increase, although this comes with some risk for the man's clan. 

I know there's a scene in King of Dragon Pass where we get an explicit dowry level, but i can't remember what it was.

It was 40 cows iirc, which was a massive amount in the game.

But if I've understood correctly, the wife gets the dowry, not her clan, and usually in Sartar she moves in to her husbands clan.

e: ah, I meant this event, where it was 50 cows: https://kingofdragonpass.fandom.com/wiki/Uraldan_Priestess_Seeks_Husband

Edited by Brootse

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Just now, Brootse said:

But if I've understood correctly, the wife gets the dowry, not her clan, and usually in Sartar she moves in to her husbands clan.

This is my understanding:

 
The groom pays the bride price to the bride's clan (this is a big reason why the young men have to raid for cattle).

The bride's family supplies her with the dowry, which is her property but which she brings to the groom's clan.

This means that basically, the same cows can passed around... 

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7 minutes ago, Brootse said:

e: ah, I meant this event, where it was 50 cows: https://kingofdragonpass.fandom.com/wiki/Uraldan_Priestess_Seeks_Husband

That seems like some one-off payment outside the regular system, because she wants him to live with her clan, and this acts as compensation. 50 cows = 1000L = Noble ransom, so this is in line with my 50-100% estimate. Perhaps 100% instead of 50% means to signify that this is a very solid offer?

(Man, they really did work out the economics in KoDP, didn't they?) 

Edited by Akhôrahil
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It very much depends on the kind of marriage. Remember that there are seven forms of marriage and each would result in a different financial transaction.

It is also a matter for negotiation with many parameters like reuputation, skills etc.

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1 hour ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

Other question :

when is it a bride price, when is it a groom price ? After all, in esrolia I m not sure that you can "buy" your wife, seems to be the opposite, doesn't it ?

"Bride price" is generally about compensating the family for the loss of their child's labor (and thus tends to be most prevalent in societies where labor is more valuable than capital), so presumably whichever of the new married couple is going to be leaving the clan of their birth for that of their partner is the one whose family is compensated.

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1 hour ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

Other question :

when is it a bride price, when is it a groom price ? After all, in esrolia I m not sure that you can "buy" your wife, seems to be the opposite, doesn't it ?

I'm assuming it's Groom Price in Esrolian Marriage. And see the KoDP example above, with the 50 cows.

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1 hour ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

Other question :

when is it a bride price, when is it a groom price ? After all, in esrolia I m not sure that you can "buy" your wife, seems to be the opposite, doesn't it ?

In my opinion both in Esrolia and in Sartar the price and dowry are not connected to the six gender roles. Instead they depend on the marriage status of the respective partner. The only difference is that in Esrolia the Esrolian marriage is the standard, whereas in Sartar Husband and Wife marriage is standard.

If for some reason the marriage would be with an underwife or underhusband this would be reflected in price and dowry as well.

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Not sure if any of the Orlanthi groups practice this, but in the RW, bride prices can be paid through labour, and can be delayed, sometimes as a part of the betrothal or courting period. 

For example, the suitor/betrothed man might move in with his prospective in-laws, performing work on their land as a form of "payment". Both in practical terms, and as a form of showing serious intent and all that. 

It might also take the other form, where a man might move in with his in-laws after the wedding, and for a while "pay down" the bride price by working for his in-laws. This uxoriocality (moving to the wife's family) can in the RW be temporary or permanent. 

In either case, however, it's worth noting that it's not really a *literal* payment. 

A literal payment in the sense of market economics implies the cessation of the relationship after the transaction is done, or in other words, that the exchange of the wife for the bride price is a discrete, singular relation that is closed off, as if you were buying food at a shop. This transaction does not mean you and the shopkeeper are friends now, for example. In-laws are for life, however (in basically every society I know about, although there are always exceptions).

Instead, the bride price is not a "payment" in the literal market sense. It is, as others have pointed out, an attempt to compensate for the loss of labor from their daughter (or I guess, son, in the case of an Esrolian groom price), however this compensation is often symbolic, and the ACTUAL "compensation" is actually performed through, well, helping out the in-laws throughout the remainder of their life. Simply put, they are family, and there is a reciprocal relationship there that the groom or groom's family can't just buy themselves out of. This is one of the reasons why bride prices in the RW are often symbolic in nature (although definitely not always).

At least theoretically. Exceptions occur, of course, and in cases of brides having to move very far the practicality of helping out her parents is difficult, but that goes without saying, I guess.

---- 

I'm not entirely sure how this applies in the highly corporate clan societies of the Orlanthi. The clan is the primary supporter of a family in times of need, with the in-law connection perhaps being secondary in importance (an educated guess). 

Still, in-laws make for good diplomatic connections, so having a good relation to your wife's or husbands' parents by way of semi-regular giftings, visits, odd-jobs, etc. is probably a good thing. 

It's also entirely possible that the Orlanthi practice BOTH bride prices AND dowries, but that the actual proportion or function of them vary depending on the settlement patterns, marriage types, social classes/wealth and prior relations (as well as individual bargaining skills/charisma).

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6 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

For example, the suitor/betrothed man might move in with his prospective in-laws, performing work on their land as a form of "payment". Both in practical terms, and as a form of showing serious intent and all that. 

Famously:

Quote

Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. Leah had weak eyes, but Rachel had a lovely figure and was beautiful. Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, “I’ll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel.”

 

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On 6/1/2020 at 10:29 PM, Akhôrahil said:

Ah here - 10 cows, which would presumably mean 50% of ransom if she's a Free woman.

https://kingofdragonpass.fandom.com/wiki/Divorce_Dowry

This is special case, in KoDP normal bride price is 20 cows, 30-50 cows is for marrying off actually usefull clan members, like initiates. It is rather low for how usefull they can be but these also work as political marriages so the real price is friends you make.

Not like it ever will come up but IMG a price for a princess is 100 cows.

 

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21 minutes ago, Borygon said:

This is special case, in KoDP normal bride price is 20 cows, 30-50 cows is for marrying off actually usefull clan members, like initiates. It is rather low for how usefull they can be but these also work as political marriages so the real price is friends you make.

Not like it ever will come up but IMG a price for a princess is 100 cows.

 

This is also true in Six Ages, where the standard dowry is 20 cows normally and often rises up to 40 for nobles, though of course you can go well beyond that depending on the circumstances.

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