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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Dangerous Crossroads: Liminality and Contested Meaning in Krobo (Ghana) Dipo Girls' Initiation
Author:Adjaye, Joseph K.
Periodical:Journal of African Cultural Studies
Geographic term:Ghana
girls' initiation
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Women's Issues
Cultural Roles
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13696819908717837
Abstract:The Krobo are located in southeastern Ghana in the mountains just outside the country's capital of Accra. Every spring, groups of Krobo girls are taken through initiation rites known as 'dipo'. The perpetuation of 'dipo' rests on the conviction that it transforms girls into women. Contending that 'dipo' initiation rites exemplify A. van Gennep's concept of liminality, as reformulated and expanded by V. Turner, that is, marginality, statuslessness, and ambiguity, this essay details the ordered sequence of activities (the stripping phase, the middle phase, the climax, the concluding rites) that progressively effect ritual transformation. Each media-defined action, with its spatial and symbolic resonances, constitutes a specific moment both in itself and in the complex, processual orchestration toward ritual efficacy. The essay concludes by questioning cultural assumptions about 'dipo''s transformative capacity and posits that the rituals both affirm and reject, legitimize and undermine, accept and question cultural understandings. It further argues that inherent in 'dipo' ritual action is contested meaning between official and personal versions of reality. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum.