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The marriage knife is a gift from an Ebou Dari husband to his wife on the occasion of their marriage. By custom, the knife is used to stab the husband if he should ever displease her.
The marriage knife is hung at the woman's bosom, and the hilt is decorated with a stone for each child she has. The color of the stone indicates whether the child is male (white) or female (red), and the color of the stone's setting indicates whether or not the child is still alive, and if not, the manner of his or her death, whether in a duel (red) or otherwise (black). If a child is of age for a duel and he or she refuses one, his or her stone is pried out by many women. Women's dresses in Ebou Dar are cut to clearly display a marriage knife, or the lack of one, which indicates that a woman is single.