The Power of the Coffin

Nationality: Ghanaian/British
Primary Language: English
Age: 23
Occupation: Student
Date: 4/24/2024


Me: “Is there any rituals or traditions that you or your family have for the dead?”

B.A.: “Yes. In Ghana there is something known as ‘fantasy coffins’”

Me: “Could you give me more insight on what that means?”

B.A.: “ It’s  a unique funeral tradition, that is made up of these custom-made coffins that reflect the deceased’s life, interests, or profession. Some examples I’ve seen or heard of are  fish for a fisherman or a car for a driver, symbolizing their passage into the next life.”


B.A. became fascinated with this practice after a trip to Ghana where he had to  attend a relative’s funeral. He remembered his mom explaining to him what the coffin itself represented. And now views these coffins as a powerful form of artistic expression that honors the individuality of the deceased. 


This tradition also illustrates how funerals can celebrate life rather than merely mourning death. The personalized coffins serve as a final tribute, as a memorable piece that showcases the essence of the deceased’s life. It also can represent their legacy and the part of them that they want to continue celebrating even in death.