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GBEWORWOR (Puberty rites) as practiced in Peki

Prior to the coming of the Missionaries , Peki observed a an interesting rites, called *gbeworwor* Under this rites , a young teenage girl who experience her first menstrual period , inform her mother who would instantly shout , to alert family members and neighbors about the development. The young girl would then be placed in a room with other colleges where puberty rites will commence . She would be sumptuously fed and given tutorials about womanhood. The process , also involved being sent to the *Amimli Stream* to be washed. She would be then after, be clothed with beads and a loin cloth and paraded around various families in the community bare chested. This is purposely designed to be the rite for passage from childhood to womanhood. It's fashioned , to be the platform , for informal education and training on issues associated with feminity and motherhood. It's also a tool for grooming young ladies for successful marriage life. Interestingly , it was an avenue to publicize the lady as a mature virgin who is ready for marriage. It sets the stage for interested families and young men to approach her or ask her hand in marriage. The main basis for the rites was to curtail the incidence of premarital pregnancy and encourage chastity. It was sacrilegious for a young lady to get pregnant prior to the ceremony. It was a great source of disgrace. The penalty was the throwing of stones at the family house, until the roof caves in. Puberty Rites is now extinct. The practice became unpopular because it was associated with *fetishism*. The EP Church in particular because of its religious doctrine prohibited members from engaging in the *gbeworwor*. *Togbe Appiah Kwadzo VI* Ngoryifia

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