Oguaa (Cape Coast) Fante women in their traditional outfit.


Oguaa (Cape Coast) Fante women in their traditional outfit. Circa 1897. Cape Coast, Ghana (Gold Coast). From this old photo one is exposed to Fantse traditional way of life. Some of the women in the photo have their breast covered whilst others have their breast uncovered. Those with their breast uncovered are the unmarried women. In the ancient Fantse tradition women that are unmarried as well as uninitiated teenage girls dress without covering their breast to show as a sign with their firm standing breast that they are not married and are virgin. Potential suitors are helped with these uncovered breast to make their choices. If a woman go out there to have pre-marital sex and gets pregnant she is easily recognized and it served as a disincentive for women to engage in pre-marital sex. When a woman get married her breast is immediately covered. The naked breast from thence becomes a soul sight for the husband and no one else. It was then a taboo for a married woman to show her breast to another man. The act of marrying and covering the breast makes a woman "akataesia" (covered for hiding for the husband only). This means a modern-day Fantse woman who dress and shows her curves and breast to outsiders is no proper Fantse woman.
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