bogadi, noun

Also bohadi, bohali.
SeTswana, Sotho, seTswana, Northern Sotho, Southern SothoShow more SeTswana and Sotho, cattle given in fulfilment of a marriage contract. ‘Bogadi’ is the seTswana and Northern Sotho orthography, while ‘bohadi’ is the Southern Sotho orthography used in South Africa, and ‘bohali’ is that used in Lesotho.
Pronunciation of the three forms ‘bogadi’, ‘bohadi’, and ‘bohali’ is identical.
1. In Sotho and Tswana society: lobola noun sense 1.
1882 J. Mackenzie in A.J. Dachs Papers of John Mackenzie (1975) 18My argument was that if the parents of the bride stood up in the Church and ‘gave their daughter away’ and signed a book or register to that effect, there was no place for ‘bogadi’ or wife-buying; the transaction was complete.
1943 J. Burger Black Man’s Burden 62Perhaps the most important aspect of that law (sc. civil) is that of lobolo or bogadi, the marriage dowry system.
2. In Sotho and Tswana society: lobola noun sense 2.
1930 S.T. Plaatje Mhudi (1975) 52No male relatives to arrange the marriage knot, nor female relations to herald the family union, and no uncles of the bride to divide the bogadi (dowry) cattle as, of course, there were no cattle.
1950 H. Gibbs Twilight in S. Afr. 73He has not managed to pay the bogadi — the marriage purchase price made in cattle — to the bride’s family.
1953 P. Lanham Blanket Boy’s Moon 19You know very well you have no cattle to pay bohali — dowry — for a rich wife: the father might demand twenty-five head of cattle.
1968 A. Fulton Dark Side of Mercy 18No man is prepared to lose a good wife for whom he has paid bohali and so lose good cattle, especially when she is young and fertile and will have other children.
1970 M. Dikobe Marabi Dance. 48If you give him the home brew, he won’t get drunk quickly and will be shy to say how many cattle he will pay for bogadi.
1976 West & Morris Abantu 150Marriage, in common with that among most other African peoples, was legalized by the transfer of bridewealth, called bohadi, from the groom’s family to that of his bride.
1988 M. Nkotsoe in Staffrider Vol.7 No.3, 375The couple could not raise enough money for bogadi. Cattle had decreased and the man’s parents were too poor to meet the required number of cattle.
1988 Spiegel & Boonzaier in Boonzaier & Sharp S. Afr. Keywords 47Paying bohali..emerged as a major mechanism whereby people coped with the exigencies of migrant labour and the repeated absence of breadwinning husbands, fathers and sons for periods of up to two years at a time.
1989 J. Hobbs Thoughts in Makeshift Mortuary 398He doesn’t have to pay bohali, that is cows, for you.

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