All about Ghana’s “fantasy coffins”
In Ghana, death is seen as a celebration of life rather than a somber occasion, something like bet odds. As a result, the country has a long tradition of creating elaborate and colorful coffins. They reflect the interests and passions of the deceased. Known as “fantasy coffins,” these works of art are both a celebration of life and a reflection of the country’s vibrant cultural heritage.
The tradition of fantasy coffins began in the 1950s in the Ga region of Ghana. Where a group of carpenters began making coffins shaped like airplanes, animals, and other objects that reflected the lives of the deceased. The tradition quickly spread to other parts of the country, and today, fantasy coffins can be found in many parts of Ghana.
The making of a fantasy coffin is a complex and time-consuming process that requires a high level of skill and craftsmanship. The process begins with the creation of a detailed design that reflects the interests and passions of the deceased. The design is then carved out of wood, and the coffin is painted and decorated with intricate designs and patterns.
The use of fantasy coffins has become increasingly popular in recent years. With many Ghanaians seek to celebrate their loved ones in a unique and personal way. Fantasy coffins can be found in a variety of shapes and sizes. From simple designs like fruits and vegetables to more elaborate creations like cars, boats, and even airplanes.
One of the most famous fantasy coffin makers in Ghana is Paa Joe, who has been creating elaborate coffins for over 50 years. His works of art have been featured in museums and galleries around the world. Additionally, he is widely regarded as one of the most skilled and innovative coffin makers in Ghana.
Paa Joe’s coffins are often shaped like animals, with designs that reflect the personality and interests of the deceased. For example, he has created coffins in the shape of a fish for a fisherman, a chicken for a farmer, and a beer bottle for a brewery owner.
The use of fantasy coffins has also become a way for Ghanaians to express their cultural identity and celebrate their heritage. Many of the designs are inspired by traditional Ghanaian symbols and patterns. The use of bright colors and bold designs reflects the country’s vibrant and colorful culture.
In addition to their cultural significance, fantasy coffins have also become a source of economic opportunity for many Ghanaians. The creation of fantasy coffins has become a thriving industry in many parts of the country. Providing employment opportunities for carpenters, painters, and other skilled workers.
While the tradition of fantasy coffins is unique to Ghana, it reflects a universal desire to honor and celebrate the lives of those who have passed away. By creating works of art that reflect the interests and passions of the deceased, Ghanaians can celebrate life and preserve their cultural heritage in a meaningful and personal way. It is an interesting approach to coffins, to say the least.