Rite of Passage (03:37)
Ogoloma customs and traditional beliefs date back to when Apollo Gaia settled on the island during the 13th century. Women of marriageable age participate in the Iria ceremony. Florence and Azikiwe's chastity will be certified and they will spend five weeks in a fattening room.
For the next five weeks, the girls participating in the Iria ceremony will be pampered and treated like princesses in return for obedience. Monday Moses speaks to other women organizing the event. Azikiwe refuses to cut her hair short or show her breasts for the ceremony.
Main Ceremonial Event: Ticket Taking (12:17)
Moses confirms each girl is ready to enter the fattening room by examining their bodies for signs of pregnancy. The participants shave their heads and paint their bodies; Azikiwe refuses to bare her breasts.
Preparations for Confinement (05:01)
The chief determines that Azikiwe brought disgrace upon her family. Moses imposes a fine on her father. Copper rods are placed on the Iriabos legs to restrict movement during confinement.
Confinement Period (05:33)
The Iriabos are locked inside for five weeks; they dance. Family members feed the girls and oil their bodies to prepare them for womanhood. The Iriabos feel treasured and loved.
Transitioning to Womanhood (03:41)
Azikiwe's father refuses to speak with her. Moses instructs the Iriabos to act submissively toward their husbands. Family members instruct the girls on how to breastfeed and care for infants.
Bathing Allowance (03:11)
Only once during their confinement do the Iriabos leave their homes and go to the river to bathe. The Ogolomas merge traditional beliefs and Christianity. During the last week, the impalas create sores and cause the girl's pain.
End of Confinement (03:02)
Florence wants to finish her education before marriage and children. Azikiwe wants to find a western husband.
Final Iria Ceremony (05:57)
The layers of fabric reflect a family's affluence. Approximately 12,000 spectators arrive to witness the Iriabos' passage into womanhood.
Credits: Monday's Girls (00:58)
Credits: Monday's Girls
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