Kalim

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Kalim

 

(Turkic), bride money paid originally to the kin group of a bride and later to her parents or relatives; payment for the bride by work (in lieu of money) was another form of kalim. The custom of paying kalim arose during the decay of the maternal kinship system and the replacement of matrilocal marriage by patrilocal marriage. Kalim was compensation paid to the bride’s kin group for the loss of a female worker and of the property she took with her to her husband’s kin group. The practice was common among many tribes and peoples of the world, and even today vestiges of the kalim are preserved among a number of peoples in the Orient. In class society a woman actually became the property of the husband upon marriage and payment of the kalim. At the same time, the large size of the kalim made it difficult for poor males to enter into marriage. In Russia, kalim was paid in the past among several peoples of Middle Asia, Siberia, and the Caucasus.

In the USSR, kalim is regarded as a survival of the past that represents a danger to society. In the criminal codes of theRSFSR, Armenian SSR, Kirghiz SSR, Tadzhik SSR, and Turk-men SSR, the payment of kalim is specified as a crime that infringes upon the right of a woman to freely decide the question of marriage.