Abstract

This article uses Zanzibari court cases in which male Muslims brought their female relatives to court to stop or end marriages where the bride’s social status was not equal to her husband’s. It argues that these cases are markers of moments of stress among male elites during the colonial period and that the hidden transcripts of these cases reveal the affect—love—that lies underneath the apparent economics of marriage in Zanzibari society. By examining these cases, Swahili poetry, and divorce rates in Zanzibar, this article demonstrates that unmet expectations in Zanzibari marriages are usually based on the notion of marrying for family prestige and economics.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-1978
Print ISSN
0001-9887
Pages
pp. 26-40
Launched on MUSE
2015-10-01
Open Access
No
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