The Coffins of the Ga People of West Africa
In the West African nation of Ghana is an ethnic group known as the Ga-Adangbe. They have a strong spiritual belief in their ancestors and the ability of their ancestors to affect the lives of the living. The living take pains to ensure that their dear departed receive a grand funeral and beginning in the 1950’s the use of elaborate coffins became traditional.
It is said the first fantasy coffin was for a female relative of the carpenter Ata Owoo. This coffin was of an airliner that the woman always wished she could fly on but never did when she was alive. This coffin so impressed everyone who viewed it that Owoo was soon commissioned to construct other fantasy coffins for his customers.
Today the Ga are world renowned for their elaborate coffins and some of these coffins have wound up in art gallery showrooms and museums.