The Dipo-Yo

The Dipo puberty rites are traditionally the means through which adolescent Krobo girls learn what their society expects of them as women. Over a period of a year or more, they studied everything from household chores to relationships and parenthood, under the tutelage of older women. More than simply an initiation into womanhood, it was a way of reinforcing cultural values and identity, and inculcating social mores pertaining to premarital sex and promiscuity.

Dipo is under increasing pressure from modernisation - churches declare it a pagan ritual to be shunned by the faithful; girls go to school to receive a Western-style education; they spend less time at home, where even the nature of family is changing. Dipo has now largely been 'outsourced' to fetish priestesses who perform an abridged version of the rites for a fee in fast-track mass ceremonies. In spite of this, women who conceive without having undergone Dipo are banished even today.