Dipo is a whole rite involving different rituals while klama is simply a cultural or folk dance. Let me offer a more detailed explanation.
DIPO: Dipo is a nubility rite - of ancient renown - performed by some of the the Dangme speaking tribes of this beautiful country of ours called Ghana. It’s a chain of rituals performed for nubile girls with the belief that through the rite, the girls transition into adulthood and obtain ‘full status’ in the tribal community. (Definition partly stolen from Hugo Huber’s book, The Krobo).
It has come to be associated more with my people, Krobos, than any of the other Dangme tribes. The whole rite has however been greatly impacted by Christianity, formal education, modernity and other socio-economic factors to the extent that the fear and reverence it evoked in the past have waned considerably.
Now, views over its relevance and justifications for its continuous performance are quite mixed. I must say that throughout its changing phases, dipo has aroused debates and generated diverse opinions and controversies which have led to various forms of (usually) skewed analysis and interpretations by different schools of thought. To cut it short, dipo is a whole rite involving a set of rituals.
KLAMA: Klama, on the other hand, is an indigenous dance of Krobo origin, performed mainly at festive occasions - such as during the performance of dipo rites, marriage ceremonies - and rarely at somber events such as funerals of traditional priests, and chiefs.
The klama rhythm or sound composes of beats from a set of drums, gong and a casaba of gourd or beaded gourd, known locally as fau.
The dance move is characterized by a slow graceful, and rhythmic body movement and the shuffling of feet. Typically, the left arm is raised horizontally a little above the waist level, and the wrist is wriggled mildly in tune with the beat while the right arm, which points to the ground swings gently in conformity.
Simply put, klama is a cultural or folk dance and not a ritual or rite.
I believe Ghanaians now know the difference between this two cultural activities.
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