SHUNNING the traditional idea of a sorrow-filled funeral when saying goodbye to loved ones, a West African tribe has taken to doing the complete opposite - and having a full-blown celebration instead.

For the Ga tribe of coastal Ghana believe that when someone passes away, they move on to another life and need a new ‘home’ - and what better way to do that than in style?

Cue a range of oversized, brightly coloured coffins which take the shape of anything and everything, from a hammer or a movie projector, to a gas pump, a grand piano and a mobile phone.

The bespoke novelty coffins are designed to represent an aspect of the dead person’s life, such as a car if they were a driver, a fish if their livelihood was the sea, or a sewing machine for a seamstress.

They might also symbolize a vice, such as a bottle of beer or a cigarette. A number of the custom-made caskets are also in the shape of animals, with everything from pigs to chickens and sea turtles honouring the dead.

Paa Joe, a 67-year-old master coffin maker from Ghana in West Africa, has rustled up literally hundreds of the unusual coffins in the last few decades. He works for one of the most prolific coffin makers, the Kane Kwei Carpentry Works in Accra, Ghana, which was set up in the 1950s by Seth Kane Kwei.

The carpenter’s first-ever coffin was created in the shape of an aeroplane, so that his grandmother could take her ‘first flight’ after she died.                          –DM