Florence Emefa AgraAlumnus
Culture forms one of the basis by which one is assessed by others.......!
Coming of age has different aspects; religious, non-religious, cultural and professional initiatory rituals. The resarch is about puberty rite as coming of age in Ghana, Africa.
In most western cultures or society puberty rite is celebrated as birthday parties or a party called 'the 21st'. In Ghana specifically in the eastern region is a coming of age rite known as Dipo. Dipo is an initiation ritual that ushers a young girl between the ages of 14 to 21years from Krobo eastern region of Ghana into womanhood, making a change in status and the goal of the rite is to keep the virginity till they are of age and ready for marriage.
It is a rite in which the young girls are paraded nude for four days and taken through series of rituals involving test for virginity, ritual bath, shaving of the head and purification rituals. Dipo makes a girl from Krobo acceptable as a krobo woman in society; a girl who did not go through the rite loses her identity as a real Krobo woman and and no Krobo man will take her as a wife.
In my research I focused on the effects of some rituals and nudity in the Dipo rite and how the dignity of women can be preserved during the rite. Dipo has been situated within the context of coming of age rituals in general in my reserach. For data the Dipo candidates both past and present, the Queen Mothers/Custodians and other individuals were interviewed.
The outcome will be social campaign and prior to the Dipo initiation in 2010 there will be a press conference to make the people aware of my mission statement, an artilce for publication in the national daily graphic, a press release, campaign T shirts, a pamphlet and a poster to take Dipo to the 21st century.