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The Coffins of the Ga People of West Africa

August 19, 2010

Hokage by Herbert Freeman

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.

Funeral Procession

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 6, 2011 12:13 pm

    Good Stuff right here. Very interesting. I am doing a research on design for the dead. Interested in coffin design, grave design, crematoria, grave stones etc. anything associated with design for the dead.

  2. February 23, 2013 5:15 am

    For precise information, see http://www.ghanacoffin.com and “Eric Adjetey Anang” on Wikipedia

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