Bush work is governed by the stage of passage a female is in. Elders & mothers are either preparing to guide their daughters through the transition into womanhood or they are guiding them through the phases of becoming a woman. Although slow, it is of course fulfilling to say the least.
Urban Bush work is taking the ancient ceremonies that were rooted in tradition and bringing them to present. Into the communities that have forgotten/never knew that the milestone of womanhood is one that has always been ritualized and honored.
Women's Initiation Rites In Africa
African female initiation ceremonies are rites of passage for girls entering womanhood, and are usually a public announcement of the girl's eligibility for marriage.
Nearly every culture in the world ritualized the important milestones throughout life. Birth, marriage and death are typically marked by special ceremonies. The final passage from childhood to adulthood also figures prominently among various ethnic groups worldwide. Hispanic cultures have quincineras for their daughters. Jews hold Bar Mitzvahs and Bat Mitzvahs for their children and in America they celebrate with Sweet Sixteen parties.
In Africa, initiation ceremonies are rooted in deep, conservative traditions. For African females, ceremonies marking their entry into the realm of adults are also a public announcement to the community that she is ready to be married. African life revolves around the family and therefore female African initiation ceremonies tend to focus heavily on the preparation of young girls to be good wives and excellent mothers.
Young girls from the Krobo ethnic group, which is dispersed across Ghana, perform the Dipo ceremony. The official ceremony lasts about five days, but pre-ritual preparation requires three weeks. The mother of a young girl selects a "˜ritual mother' for her daughter. Like a favored aunt, the ritual mother prepares the young girl for her future role as a wife and mother. The young girl learns the art of cooking and household management (a skill she's been performing beside her own mother since she could walk), music, dance and beautification. The girl is encouraged to leave behind her jaunty, carefree childhood ways and adopt the stature of a woman full of dignity and grace.
The ritual mother will also school the young girl in the art of seduction. The ability to please a man in every way is an art taken seriously by Krobo women. A special string of beads may be worn loosely about her hips as a visual gift to her husband. This focus of seduction, however, does not necessarily lead to a high-rate of promiscuity. Any woman who lets a man other than her husband view her hip beads could be considered unfaithful.
To be continued . . .
Sources: www.thebeadsite.com, Swaziland National Trust Commission at www.sntc.org.sc/cultural
Interesting read. Peace and Blessings!
Peace and Blessings, that is what people expect when we see each other. If they don't hear a "Peace and Blessings" they start asking questions. It's funny how life can take you to where you began. That's what happened over here. We'll get to that a little later. So Mama Raminyah is a glorious misunderstanding to all those uninitiated souls. She's not without her challenges of course. It's just that the common motto is "God lives IN me AS me."