Dipo – Ghana
Dipo is a rite of passage practised in the Eastern region of Ghana. The traditional festival is carried out by the residents of Odumase-Krobo.
Upon announcement of the festival, mothers send their daughters to chief priest.
A set of rituals and tests commence that determine if the girls are allowed to participate in the festival.
The girls have their heads shaved, wrapped with a cloth from their waist that reaches their knees and is given a bath by the chief priest.
The next morning the chief pours libations and asks for blessings for the girls. The girl’s feet are washed with the blood of a goat in hopes of cleansing them from a spirit of sterility.
The girls are then directed to sit on the sacred stone, called Tekpete. If found to be pregnant or unchaste, they are ostracized by their community and aren’t able to marry any man from the tribe.
The girls wear white strips of calico on their head and chest.
They are then splashed with chalky water to ward off evil spirits.
The girls are then housed for a week where they learn how to cook, housekeeping, caring for children. They are also taught how to properly treat and seduce their husbands.
After schooling, the girls are dressed in Kente cloth and adorned with beads around their waste, neck and arms. They perform the klama dance to drums and singing.
Any man interested in any of the girls can then start gathering information about her and her family.