Brideprice and dowry are not necessarily mutually exclusive. In some cultures both are practiced simultaneously. Among the Xhosa (a South African Bantu society), a girl’s father would receive a lobola payment from her new husband but would also be responsible for providing her with marriage cattle that would be vested in the new household formed. This arrangement had two implications. Unlike the standard arrangement it did not create an extensive chain of relationships among several groups, since the father was left with no stock to contract another marriage for himself or a son. Moreover, the gift to the new family relieved the father of any formal responsibilities for his daughter’s welfare after her marriage (Kuper 1982:36).
Another important system of marriage exchange entails a contribution of labour rather than valuable goods. In the institution of bride-service, a new husband is required to work for his father-in-law for a lengthy period of time as form of compensation for various conjugal rights. This arrangement is documented in the Bible in the life of Jacob, who contributes 14 years in order to marry Leah and Rachel. It is also present in one form or another in many contemporary cultures, such and the Yanomamo and the Ju/’hoansi. In both these cases, the practice is partially understandable in terms of the paucity of material items and accumulations that might form appropriate sources for marriage payment.