CAS affiliated emeritus professor Dennis McGilvray's work in Sri Lanka is the culmination of nearly forty years of anthropologic research. Professor McGilvray's research interests focus on the Tamils and Muslims of south India and Sri Lanka. This exhibit of photography takes a look at dowry practices in the region and is the subject of Professor McGilvray's upcoming book, A House for Every Daughter: Matrilocal Marriage in Sri Lanka and South India.
"Here, women are expected to receive a house from their parents before a man will agree to marry them. Although romantic love can sometimes outweigh this requirement, the "dowry house" is still a key issue in most arranged marriage negotiations between the families of the bride and groom.
This Sri Lankan marriage pattern is termed "matrilocal" by anthropologists. It is rare in most parts of South Asia, where couples typically reside in a "patrilocal" household with the family of the groom. Although it poses a hardship for daughters from poor families, the matrilocal dowry-house system remains popular with many Hindu and Muslim wives, because it gives them rights to property and greater influence in household affairs."
See more of McGilvray's work in Hale Science building on the second floor.