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Al-mahr zaytuna: property and family in the hills facing Palestine (1880 - 1940)

Mundy, Martha (2003) Al-mahr zaytuna: property and family in the hills facing Palestine (1880 - 1940). In: Doumani, Beshara, (ed.) Family History in the Middle East: Household, Property and Gender. SUNY series in the social and economic history of the Middle East. State University of New York Press, Albany, US, pp. 113-150. ISBN 079145679X

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Mahr, the object that the groom gives a bride as a condition of the Muslim marriage contract, would promise to be the epitome of gender-specific property, the object that would "make" the woman a married woman. Women's jewelry, their finery, and the bedroom sets of contemporary marriages all come to mind; the chapter in this volume by Annelies Moors explores such gendered mahr in the form of women's gold in the twentieth-century town of Nablus. Yet, as an ancient body of juristic commentary suggests, in Islamic legal tradition mahr could be composed of any legally valid property from slaves to land to specie. In legal doctrine and practice mahr proved most easily measurable, and hence capable of measuring differences in social status, in the form of money. But unlike its categorical isolation in legal discourse, mahr may form part of a series of social exchanges within a network of kin and between households over time. It has thus also to be understood within such a context. © 2003 State University of New York. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2003 State University of New York Press
Divisions: Anthropology
Middle East Centre
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2008
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2021 23:03

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