They like to go out in style: lively coffin art from Ghana
When we finally move on to the afterlife, we’re probably going to be put in a dull and discreet coffin. But not the Ga people of Ghana. They like to go out in style. Fantasy or figurative coffins, are colourful and creative functional coffins designed and made by specialized carpenters in Greater Accra Region in Ghana. The Ga people believe that there is indeed an afterlife and that their deceased loved ones will get mad (Read: haunt and curse) at them if they don’t provide a suitable ride out of this world.
The coffins can only be seen during the day of the burial and are only for people with the right status – usually for heads of families.
This custom of making coffin art is relatively new, with the first few batches coming out back in 1945. The first artist to do so was Ataa Oko, followed by the Kane Kwei Carpentry Workshop and other artists in the 1950s.
You can check out more coffin art over on io9.