Dipo festival is the greatest legacy of Krobo land. It is celebrated in the Eastern Region, located some 80 kilometers north of Accra. The festival is one of the most famous and important festivals in West Africa.
One beguiling thing about Dipo rites, which has been practiced for ages, is the showing of bare breasts of the girls who participate in the rite. All participating girls are made to bare their boobs throughout the behind the scene rites – and even display so in public. Young men who witness Dipo rites simply can’t take their rampaging eyes off the erected and bidding nipples of the girls.
Why Their Breasts Are Exposed
A number of reasons have been given on why the Dipo girls have always had their breasts bared. A chaste or virgin girl is said to be, ”O li nyumu” in Krobo language. The showing of their breasts is a credence that they are chaste, or have not delivered a child before.
The exposure of their breasts for everyone to see also signifies their transformation into adulthood. It is believed that the old ladies who prepare the girls can easily determine if a girl has given birth before the rite – just by gazing closely at her naked breasts.
The Call For A Change
In an exclusive interview with Mr. Isaac Tamatey Otu, Chairman, Kloma Hengme Association (The Krobo advocacy and Heritage association), Presspeep.com asked him if it’s not high time the elders and chief of Krobo land consider putting a stop to making the young girls bare their breasts during the Dipo rite; he said, “If you ask me personally, the breast must be covered. It is about time we need to modernize some of those aspects.
“Certain things were done in the past because that is all they had. Certain practices they underwent and held on solemnly would have been different if they are in our time now.” He also disclosed that some parts of Krobo land have started covering up the breasts of the Dipo girls. “On the exposure of the breast, Krobo is currently divided whether the breast should be covered or not.
“Whiles a section think it is about time in the face of modernity to cover their breast, other Krobos think otherwise. Those who think otherwise argue that it is the exposure of the breast, walking barefooted, and drinking only river water, eating only typical Krobo foods etc. that makes the rite to be known as Dipo.
“They believe that any attempt to modify or change any of the above will ”adulterate” the effect and significance of Dipo. It is refreshing to know that in the Yilo-Krobo traditional area now, the breasts are covered during Dipo rites. However, in Manya-Krobo, the breasts are still not covered” he said.
Are All The Participating Girls Still Virgins?
All participating girls must be virgins or not have given birth before or pregnant at the time of being initiated – and that has been the injunction since the inception of the rite. So we asked Mr. Tamatey if that is still the case now. “In the olden days, they were able to get virgins (majority of virgins) to do the rite.
“But now, almost an overwhelming majority of the girls are not virgins. Whether you are a virgin or not, the ‘tɛkpɛtɛ’ will not reject you or expose you. It is only pregnancy. You must not be pregnant as at the time of sitting on it” he educated. The ‘tɛkpɛtɛ’ is actually a sacred stone the girls are made to sit on three times, in the presence of the chief priest, elders and parents.
“Only virgins can sit on it. It is believed that any girl who is not a virgin but pretends to be one would not be able to get up after sitting on the sacred stone – though there’s no record or history on any such occurrence on this belief one can refer to.
Getting Stuck On The Sacred Stone
It appears Krobos have differing beliefs on this very subject. Whilst some claim that if a Dipo girl is not a virgin but sits on the sacred stone she would get stuck on it, Mr. Tamatey shared a different belief version to Presspeep.com.
“A Dipo girl will not get stuck on the Tɛkpɛtɛ (Tɛgbɛtɛ). However, if a ‘Dipo yo’ (Dipo girl) is pregnant and sat on it, it will shake you (slight shake) that will be enough for the Dipo priestess to realize that you are pregnant. In the olden days, such girls were banished from Krobo.
Importance of Dipo
The sole aim of the festival is to minimize, if not prevent, teenage pregnancy and also teach the young woman to be ready to take care of her own family in future. The girls are taught how to be good women.
They are taught how to cook; clean and tighten up their coochie, amongst others. Some playfully speculate that the Dipo girls are schooled on some se.xual orientations that can spin the heads of their husbands on bed– perhaps, why Krobo ladies are good in bed. You may want to marry a Krobo lady and experience for yourself.
Though publication of nudity is against our Core Ideology, we however published the above bare breasted pictures to corroborate the story and to maintain the orientation, culture, and belief on the subject under consideration – Dipo rite.