A camel for your thoughts, my dear

In certain societies, in order for a marriage to take place, the groom must purchase the bride from her father, in return for a certain number of camels.  (I vaguely remember reading this somewhere, or perhaps heard it on the radio, so it must be true)

In others, the father is obliged to pay the groom to take his daughter away, again in livestock, i.e. camels.

One can only speculate as to why this is so.  Possibly the daughters in the first tribe are more attractive than those in the second. 

But the important thing is the central role played by the camel.  It is hardly important in which direction the camel is travelling, after all.

Which leads naturally to the question of why this foul-tempered, evil-smelling, vicious quadruped has become the medium of exchange necessary for the continuance of the human race in these tribes?

Possibly it explains the preference for raiding instead, in which obtaining a wife does not require the involvement of camels.

4 thoughts on “A camel for your thoughts, my dear

  1. Roger, I think you are talking about certain tribes in Africa, including South of Sudan (particularly the Nilotic tribes), that use cows, rather than camels, as dowry. Leads to so much blood shed, because in order for the man to get enough cows to get his girl, he often needs to raid other tribes. But I may be wrong.

  2. Dioscorus, I had no specific tribe in mind. It was a joke! But interesting to hear about those tribes anyway.

    I was also going to say something about being able to tell the difference between the camel and the beloved, but I thought it was too obvious.

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