Hmong Traditions – Bride Price; Dowry

In the Hmong culture when a man finds a woman that he wants to marry, he must pay a bride price or dowry to the woman’s family to complete the marriage. The bride-price is usually arranged by both sides. “Buying a wife” or paying a bride price does not indicate that a wife is considered property to be bought and sold. The bride-price can be seen as an insurance policy to assure that the wife will be highly valued and well-treated by her husband’s family. The bride price can be anywhere from $5,000 – $10,000 but it can be more than that depending on how “virtue” or how “valuable” the girl is. Like they say “the higher the bride-price is the more “virtue” the woman is”. So all in all, the man’s side of the family pays for the bride and the woman’s side of the family pays for the big feast and party that is held to celebrate the marriage.

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