Dipo Festival Of The Krobo, Somanya & Odumasi

RESERVATIONS CONTACT: Ruddy Nartey info@linkedheartvolunteers.org

Brief Story Of Dipo Passage Rite:
* The Krobo mark the passage of girls into womanhood by performing a series of rituals known as Dipo.
* Dipo rites have been practiced since the eleventh century, and their popularity has not waned despite modern intrusions into traditional Ghanaian culture.
* At the beginning of the Dipo ceremony, each initiate enters a ritual house, sheds her clothing, symbolic of childhood, and is dressed anew by her ritual mother.
* The morning after shaving their heads, the initiates carry their calabashes to the river to bathe. The washing ceremony is a purification rite to cleanse the body and spirit.
* After their ritual bathing, the girls are fed a special meal of water-yam porridge and palm-oil sauce prepared by their mothers.
* The initiates are helped by priestesses.
* The girls undergo inner and outer transformation with the help of specially appointed Dipo guardians.
* The climax of the Dipo initiation ceremony is called the blessing of Tekpete, referring to a legendary sacred stone which the Krobo carried down from Krobo Mountain when the British evicted them from their place of origin in the nineteenth century.
* The initiate wears pure white strips of calico around her head and chest.
* Each initiate has been splashed with chalky water to ward off any evil forces that might overcome him.
* The initiate maintains a contemplative silence by pressing a single leaf between her lips.
* The initiate is carried by her father or other family member after sitting on the sacred stone of virginity.
* Each initiate has been splashed with chalky water to ward off any evil forces that may overcome her.
* Despite the influence of the Christian church in Ghana the Krobo people consider the Dipo ceremony their most sacred an beautiful ceremonial tradition.
* The initiates are shaved their heads by their ritual mother.
* A shaved initiate.
* After blessing the sacred stone of virginity: if a girl is found not to be a virgin, or, worse still, if she is discovered to be pregnant, she risks to be ostracized and will never attract a husband from their own tribe.
* The initiates are now ready for their Out-dooring Ceremony, during which they will be presented to the community of family, friends and potential suitors.
* The Krobo are among the oldest and most famous makers of recycled glass beads in Africa. many of the beads, known as KORI, ZARGBAH, POWAH, OTANKAH or AGGREY, are made locally; others have been trade from Venice since the seventeenth century, as well as from Holland.
* During the final week of Dipo instruction, the girls have studied the art of dance and music .
* Dipo girls learned about the subtleties of seduction, including special techniques of cooking
* Denoting family wealth and social status, each type of bead an initiate wears has a name of significance.
(1) Blue beads, called KOLI, mean “something you love very much”, and are associated with affection and tenderness.
(2) Yellow beads symbolize maturity and prosperity.
The large yellow beads known as BORDOM beads are said to possess magical protective powers.
(3) White beads signify respect for the gods and ancestors when worn by priestesses. The village priest wears a Dipo-straw hat and clad in white gown , always on mango pack.
* At their Outdooring Ceremony, Krobo initiates, perform the KLAMA dance which emphasizes their graceful movements.
* Tied around her neck are beads that are often been passed down through a family for many generations. Men of other tribes consider Krobo women to be among the most desirable in West Africa.
* The beads around their necks are of great value for the Krobo.
* The Krobo girls demonstrate their dancing skills for the chief, relatives, and, most importantly, prospective suitors who gather to admire the display of feminine grace and beauty.

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