Krobo Dipo dress fashion trends and culture in contemporary Ghana from 1950 to 2019
Timothy Mintson, Osuanyi Quaicoo Essel & Ebenezer Acquah (2023)
The study investigated the major fashion trends that have characterised Dipo rite from 1950 to 2019. The narrative and descriptive research designs, under the qualitative approach, were used to investigate the major Dipo dress fashion trends. The sample for the study comprised of four (4) respondents consisting of two (2) traditional rulers knowledgeable in Dipo traditions and customs and have experienced the Dipo rite for at least two decades; one (1) opinion leader, and one (1) photographer who has been a paparazzi during Dipo rites for more than a decade. Interview and non-participant observation constituted the data collection instruments while thematic and descriptive analysis were the analytical tools used. The suboe (red fabric), Kraala (white fabric), wax print and kente Fabrics are some of such materials that signal the major Krobo Dipo dress fashion trends. The dominant presence of the Euro-Christian and Islamic ideological infiltration and stereotyping of the Dipo rite of passage in Ghana has been unsuccessful in depleting Dipo dress cultural practice. Four major stages of Dipo rites were identified with each displaying an array of Dipo dress fashions in observance of the rite. They are the tying of string (sɔni), cleansing initiation (wearing of red loincloth), victory initiation (wearing of white loincloth), and dress-ups (Newuom and kawɔ). The wearing of variations of red and white loincloth, and dress-ups (Newuom and kawɔ) that characterised the last three stages of Dipo rite, revealed interesting stylistic Dipo fashion trends that serve as sources of inspiration for fashion designing. These fashion trends are predominately wraparound with accessories to match. Wax print fabrics were dominant fabrics used by initiates during the first dress-up called Newuom while Kente dominated in use for Kawↄ. The flamboyant public display of Dipo contemporary fashion is undoubtedly a unique advertising platform that textile manufacturing companies in Ghana should take advantage of to market their products.