Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Krobo Tribe Rites

The Krobo Tribe ...

The Krobo Tribe is located in the Eastern Region in Ghana, in Westafrica. This tribe is fairly well known for it's old historical tribal rites, marking the first menstruation of their girls.

This here is only the official view of these rites.

However, much more is going on in the villages, behind the stage, so to speak, bbut this might not be the right place to speak about these things.

But you can search the internet yourself, and you will easily find out, that many of these Krobo girls end up in prostitution later on, or are being otherwise sexually abused by men.

Some Rite Descriptions :

(1) The "Krobo Tribe" marks the passage of girls into womanhood by performing a series of rituals known as "Dipo."

(2) Dipo rites have been practiced since the 11th. century, and their popularity has not waned despite modern intrusions into traditional Ghanian culture.

(3) 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.

(4) The morning after shaving their heads, the initiates carry their calabashes to the river to bathe. The washing ceremony is meant
to be a purification rite to cleanse the body and spirit.

It's a ceremony that is several hundreds of years old.

(5) After their ritual bathing, the girls are fed a special meal of water-yam porridge and palm-oil sauce prepared by their mothers.

(6) The initiates are helped by priestresses.

(7) The young girls undergo an inner and outer transformation with the help of their specially appointed Dipo guardians.

(8) 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.

(9) The initiate wears pure white strips of calico around her head and chest.

(10) Each initiate has been splashed with chalky water to ward off any evil forces that might overcome them.

(11) The initiate maintains a contemplative silence by pressing a single leaf between her lips.

(12) The initiate is carried by her father or other family members, after sitting on the sacred stone of virginity.

(13) Each initiate has been spashed with chalky water to ward off any evil forces that may overcome her. You may not believe in sprits, and their powers, but we
here in Africe know better. They are real, and they exist. More about this in another blog

(14) Despite all the influence of the Christian church in Ghana the Krobo people consider the Dipo ceremony their most sacred an beautiful ceremonial tradition.

(15) The initiates are shaved their heads by their ritual mother.

(16) Shaved initiates.

(17) After blessing the sacred stone of virginity: if a girl is found not to be a virgin, or, even worse still, if she is discovered to be pregnant, she risks to be ostracized and will never attract a husband from her own tribe.

They often end up as prostitutes in the cities, or abroad.

(18) The initiates are now ready for their Outdooring Ceremony, during which they will be presented to the community of family, friends and potential suitors.

(19) The Krobo are among the oldest and most famous makers of ground-glass beads in Africa. many of the beads, known as AKORI, or AGGREY, are made locally; others have been trade from Venice since the seventeenth century, as well as from Holland.

(20) During the final week of Dipo instruction, the girls have studied the art of dance and music ....

(21) .... and also learned about the subleties of seduction, including special techniques for making love !!!

(22) Denoting family wealth and social status, each type of bead an initiate wears has a name of significance. Blue beads, called KOLI, mean "something you love very much", and are associated with affection and tenderness.

Yellow beads symbolize maturity and prosperity. The large yellow beads known as BODUM beads are said to possess magical protective powers.

(23) Musicians during the Outdooring Ceremony.

(24) White beads signify respect for the gods and ancestors when worn by priestesses. The village priest wears a Dipo-pe straw hat.

(25) At their Outdooring Ceremony, Krobo initiates, perform the KLAMA dance which emphasises their graceful movements.

(26) The KLAMA dance at the Outdooring Ceremony.

(27) 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.

(28) The beads around their necks are considered to be of great value for the Krobo.

(29) 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...