Dipo the Ceremony of the Krobo people of Ghana.
After child naming ceremonies which happen eight days after birth, the next most recognized ceremonial rites are the Puberty rites, this is the coming of age for girls. In Ghana, this is a huge event, the 'Dipo' puberty rites celebrated by the Krobo people ushers young women into adulthood.
In Akan culture women represent the beauty, purity, and dignity of society, and are strongly protected from any form of abusive behavior.
The lasting impressions of a young girls development are built during these formative years of her life, where girls spend most of their time with their mothers. In Ghana, the Akan's believe that good mothers with great morals make good children.
In a three week period of seclusion, the Queen mother of a town or village works with mothers to teach young girls who are of age, the secrets of womanhood, giving them lessons in sex education and abstinence. Girls are also taught and groomed in bedside habits since the mothers also believe that a good and happy wife makes a great home.
After the period of seclusion a huge durbar of chiefs, sub chiefs, and queen mothers is held where most in the community attend, this is one happy occasion, the young women are dressed pretty scanty, with heavy beading resting on their hip lines, and a sash running from the backside to the front creating a traditional pantie line, they are very nicely made up and are presented topless to make a statement about their purity.
There is the pouring of libation, and then these young women are led out to dance topless symbolizing maturity into womanhood, and also her availability to prospective young suitors and husbands.
I chose 'Dipo' for my quilting project, since it is a beautiful cultural topic to discuss as well as an interesting piece when represented in fabric, and also to share and compare with the rest of the world the celebration of puberty rites.
This art work called 'Dipo' is a 'Marble mosaic' a special technique I have created for my mosaic quilting, Dipo will be up for exhibition in the Spring.