"This may look like a pirate chest, but it's actually a dowry chest from India. Expect $1,000."
- Fact 1: In many cultures, particularly in India, the family of a bride pays a dowry to the groom as seed money and supplies for the new couple.
- Fact 2: Dowries are often highly valuable, and heavy chests like this one were equipped with hidden compartments to thwart thieves.
- Fact 3: In some cultures, the dowry must be returned to the family if the bride dies soon after marriage -- an incentive for the husband to treat the bride well.
- Fact 4: Dowry is often confused with bride-price, which is money paid by the groom's family to essentially buy the bride.
- Fact 5: Despite financial pressure and a legal ban on the practice, over 90% of new marriages in India involve a dowry payment.