Newly enstooled Queen Mother of Abuakwa Manhyia; Obaahemaa Afia Tumutuo, has vowed to reintroduce ‘bragoro’; the traditional rite of passage for Asante young females.
The Akans believe properly trained mothers with good morals are to raise children since they are impressionable.
Under the supervision of the Queen Mother of a town or village in collaboration with some female opinion leaders, young women who have had their first menstruation are secluded from the community for a period between two and three weeks during which they are taught the secrets of womanhood. During this period of seclusion, the girls are given lessons in sex education and birth control. They are also taught how to relate to men properly so that they can maintain a good marriage.
Upon undergoing the rite, the damsels attend a durbar where suitors make contact with the girls’ parents or guardians seeking their hand. Among others, the rite forbids premarital sex as a deflowered damsel cannot undergo the initiation.
Obaahemaa Tumutuo who is the newly installed Queen Mother of Abuakwa Manhyia in the Atwima Nwabiagya South District of the Ashanti Region bemoaned the neglect of the time held rite which guarded against teenage pregnancies and early foray into the sexual sphere.
Obaahemaa Tumutuo pledged ensuring the teenage girls in her community got the best training and upbringing in her community.
In session for the installation were Otumfuo’s Ankobeahene, Nana Baffour Kwame Kusi II, her subjects and folks from neighbouring towns.
Nana Baffour Kwame Kusi II who read a speech on behalf of Asantehene; Otumfuo Osei Tutu II cautioned the Queen Mother to lead an exemplary life so others can emulate.
He declared: “I have crowned you the Queen Mother of Abuakwa Manhyia and its stool lands, on behalf of our Lord Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.”
Nana Ankobeahene urged Obaahemaa Tumutuo to pay heed respect to chiefs and elders of the Abuakwa Manhyia Traditional Area noting “be sober to your Gyaasehene and Nananom, also display a well-rounded life to the women in your community and you will reside on the stool for long.”
Obaahemaa Tumutuo vowed to assist the venerable and poor to attain proper education so as to curb the illiteracy rate in her jurisdiction. Obaahemaa was enstooled on Tuesday, April 23 after she had undergone the Asante customary rite paving way to be enstooled.
By Joe Marfo/Kumasi