Somewhere in North America or Canada, there is a tribe of Indians who dress their pubescent girls in large bearskins. The girls all live together just outside the village, the bearskins protecting them from the gaze of the adults and boys. They are even advised to be particularly slow and clumsy, to mimic the movement of a bear. This protected environment allows them to mature in a carefree and undisturbed way. They themselves determine the moment when they finally throw off their bearskin, and become part of the community of grown-up women. Girls of this tribe may even decide to become braves. Not many do, but some have.
When I recently told a friend about this, she was certain she had heard of this tribe before.
As it happens, I made it all up myself.