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Journal Articles Oceania Year : 2020

Urban Women and the Transformations of Braedpraes in Honiara

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In the capital city of the Solomon Islands, brideprice is often given to formalize the marriage of young couples from the island of Malaita. For the young wife, brideprice is a reminder that she is expected to work and produce children for the lineage of her husband, an obligation that is at times strongly impressed upon her by her in-laws. Data gathered in Honiara over the last 15 years, most recently in 2015–2016, show the emergence of a variety of patterns among Malaitan women living in Honiara regarding their productive and reproductive autonomy, and their role in brideprice. Beyond their diversity, what these data reveal, we argue, is that the interstitial cultural spaces created by the urbanization of social and economic relations afford young urban women the possibility of engaging with brideprice in a way that had not been possible until then. We demonstrate that, as members of an emerging new middle-class, these women seek (either in agreement with their husbands, or in spite of them) to transform the meaning of brideprice: while showing respect to their in-laws and to tradition, their goal is to gain greater control over their lives within the confines of brideprice sociality.
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halshs-03096481 , version 1 (13-03-2022)



Christine Jourdan, Fabienne Labbé. Urban Women and the Transformations of Braedpraes in Honiara. Oceania, 2020, Bridewealth and the Autonomy of Women, 90 (3), pp.253-272. ⟨10.1002/ocea.5279⟩. ⟨halshs-03096481⟩
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