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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Ethno legal philosophy of customary law marriage
Author:Okupa, EffaISNI
Periodical:Annual conference - African Society of International and Comparative Law
Geographic term:Subsaharan Africa
Subjects:customary law
family law
conflict of laws
Abstract:This paper examines African customary law marriage in its ethnolegal philosophic context. The author argues that contemporary African marriage laws are unintelligible without reference to the impact of the slave trade on customary morality, the influence of Christian missionaries, and the consequences of legal imperialism. The author examines the conflicts between customary law marriage and statutory law marriage, paying special attention to the issue of 'lobola' or, as described by missionaries and ethnographers, bride price, bride wealth, marriage payment, etc. Traditionally, 'lobola' was the advancement of a herd of pedigree cattle to the bride's male agnates in some patrilineal societies. The author deals with the function of 'lobola', its nature and amount, the beneficiaries of 'lobola' in successful marriages, adultery, and divorce and the refunding of (part) of the 'lobola' goods. She argues that the development or demise of 'lobola' in the future will depend on what women will choose to do with their freedom and autonomy.