Folklore and the Economy of Culture Marital Movables List as a Model
Nahla Imam - EGYPT
T he researcher defines the movables wedlock as a list containing the bride’s stuffs and any movable from the bride’s house to the marital home and is signed by the husband as a receipt that must be returned to her upon request. There is a virtual list containing the ideal style set by the group for the bride’s stuffs, enclosed what is supposed to bring and not what is already brought, and is signed by the groom as a submission to the group standards and as a proof of good faith. Between the actual and virtual list, there is a large number of patterns invented by the group to fill the gaps in the conventional laws. The researcher raised the question: Is the list of marital movables a mean of protection and “insurance” of the material rights of women as justified by the members of the society, or it could be interpreted in the context of what is called in anthropological studies in the last century as “the bride price”? If those studies point out to this price as a dowry paid by the groom, then these lists are “remainder” of this price, paid in full in case the conjugal relationship ended in divorce to protect the group from “loss” that could affect them by the end of the marital relationship; which individuals - often - have mobilized possibilities as much as they can for the establishment of a new family. The researcher reminds the multiple functions carried out by “Al-qaimah” in the Egyptian society, as its social, economic and psychological functions are intertwined together, and beside these explicit functions, the list also has implicit functions. Lists analysis shows that the forms of official control could not stop this mean or even reduce its spread, and “Al-qaimah” appears as a mean “capable of” reflecting the mechanics of an economic performance that seems to be primitive, but effective in the framework for which it is created. The study attempts to analyze the lists that have been obtained in the light of a number of variables assumed to be relevant to the effectiveness and the spread of the adoption of this practice in the Egyptian society. She discusses “Al-qaimah” in relation to the variable place, and this has been reported in detail when the differences between communities in adopting this cultural component are mentioned. She also resorted to a number of other variables such as education, religion and class belonging. Through the analysis of the representative lists of marital movables that have been collected from a number of provinces of the Egyptian society, it is possible to end up to a number of results that can be summarized in what follows: this inherited cultural element still insists on staying as a mechanism of defense that still works efficiently in the Egyptian society, although it looks like some of the features of change that have always been and continue to affect the form not the goal and the content, and subsequently are the most important factors that led to the continuation of marital movables list and even its expanding, then we introduce the features of the change that hit this cultural component.