Ended the week of the Evala, follows a period dedicated to Kabyè female initiation ceremonies called Akpéma.
It is a series of ceremonies that strengthen the girls to the resistance, to the courage and to the safeguard of some virtues that give them a special status; among these virtues, the most important is the preservation of virginity until marriage.
While the Kabyè boys follow an initiation rite that begins at the age of eight to become adult men, the girls are started in just one year.
Their initiation takes place around the age of 18 and tradition has it that the girls are virgins before the beginning, precisely because this initiation prepares them for marriage.
The young initiates are subjected to shaving their heads and they are deprived of their clothes.
The ceremony begins with a procession in which the young people parade naked, wearing only a necklace and a pearl belt, holding hands with their companions; they head towards the sacred wood where the ceremonies will take place.
During the initiation the girls are accompanied and supported by adult women and by traditional priests.
Once reached the sacred place, that for some tribes consists of a sacred wood, while for others the top of a mountain, the girls will have to sit on a sacred stone to show their purity.
The completion of this test is a decisive step that, when overcome, increases the honor of their family of origin; at the end of this initiatory process the Kabyè girls are declared suitable for adulthood and marriage.
Girls who know they are not virgins should not sit on the stone, if the girl is not a virgin and sits on this rock, the blood will spring from her sex or, as other communities claim, she will be bitten by the bees.
Today sitting on this stone is no longer a bond for the rite of passage, only those who know they are virgins insist on participating in the ritual of sitting down; a virgin girl is still the pride of her family, otherwise it will result in shame, humiliation, insults for the girl and her parents.
The end of the ceremony consists of another parade: the girls gather under a sacred tree from where the traditional priests start the procession.
Along the way the initiates of previous years and parents sing to praise the girls.
After the ritual the girls can go to the market, wearing only the panties and bra and pearl necklaces until the moment of the "Tchimou" dance, that marks the end of the initiation ceremony.
The day after this initiation, the young "Akpenou" who is already promised to a young "Evalo", participates in the chimou dance, or tchimou.
It is a courtship dance and also represents the wealth of the boyfriend.
The boyfriend, his parents and his friends offer impressive quantities of "souloum", also known as "choucoutou", a sorghum beer, the amount that is wasted only serves to show that they do not need it.
This ostentation is intended to reassure the young woman on the fortune of her future husband and that she becomes part of a wealthy family, showing that she will be safe from the daily necessities.