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Questionable Custom

Noorkishon came to me yesterday asking for a help. She needs $20. The Maasai have a custom that is hard to understand. On the day of marriage, a wife becomes her husband’s perfect bank, the place that he can keep his money in absolute safety. His bank, read wife, is safe because she is responsible for whatever money he gives her. If the house burns down and her husband’s money burns, she must find the equivalent amount to return to him. The same is true if the money is stolen or lost. She can’t refuse to keep his stash and if something happens to it, she must scrounge around every which way to replace it. If she can’t come up with the cash, he beats her.
Noorkishon put the $20 dollars into her small wooden box, locked it with a pad lock and put it under her bed. She closed the makeshift door of her Maasai igloo shaped cow dung covered dwelling and went off driving donkeys carrying plastic jugs to draw water. Returning, she found the door wide open, her box broken into and her husband’s $20 dollars gone. For the last couple days she has been going around to friends tearfully asking for contributions. She is very afraid of being seriously beaten.

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