School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year:1991
Online Publication Date:August 2009
Subjects: Social and cultural anthropology
Bartered Brides is a detailed study of marriage among the Maduzai, a tribal society in Afghan Turkistan. It is the first study of the area which looks in depth at both the domestic aspects of marriage and its relation to the productive and reproductive activities of women, as well as marriage as a means of managing political and economic conflict and competition. The fieldwork was carried out in the early 1970s before the 1978 coup and Soviet invasion. In this respect the book offers a unique account of a world that has disappeared. Nancy Tapper presents both male and female perspectives, detailed case studies and historical and statistical material. As an ethnographic and historical record, Bartered Brides breaks new ground in the study of Islam, the Middle East and South-west Asia. As the most detailed and extensive discussion of a Middle Eastern marriage system to date, it contributes to wider anthropological studies of marriage, politics and gender.