African fantasy coffins
December 29, 2001 1:02 PM   Subscribe

African fantasy coffins are produced by the Ga and other tribes of the Ghana coast to confer the status of travel and luxury goods upon the deceased. The coffins themselves are incredibly detailed works of art that range from miniature Mercedes automobiles and cellphones to giant fish and Coke cans. What would you like to be buried in?
posted by MrBaliHai (13 comments total)
I'd go to Art Caskets and choose this one, for the sheer comic value.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:47 PM on December 29, 2001

This Gold themed casket is called "Fairway to Heaven". Holy moly that's great.
posted by Shadowkeeper at 2:02 PM on December 29, 2001

Wow! the Indiana museum of art has a huge display area with a few of these! Nothin' like going to the afterlife in a racecar.
posted by salsamander at 2:04 PM on December 29, 2001

Ah, nuts. "Golf themed" ...
posted by Shadowkeeper at 2:08 PM on December 29, 2001

There's also Bert and Bud's Vintage Coffins here in the US.
posted by MrBaliHai at 2:19 PM on December 29, 2001

I saw something this on the ABC World News a few months ago. A reporter was in Ghana and bumped into a grad student who was studying the caskets - Here is the html report, and here is the video from the broadcast (realplayer only).
posted by panopticon at 2:24 PM on December 29, 2001

"Deceptively simple, afterlife vehicles can cost families as much as a year's income ($400 US) depending on materials, design, and length of advanced notice... In Ghana, one would only see such coffins in a coffin-maker's shop or briefly during the funeral prior to interment."

What a waste of craftsmanship and money! (I've chosen to be cremated.)
posted by Carol Anne at 3:35 PM on December 29, 2001

I would like to be embalmed and mummified and entombed in a secret rock cave somewhere in the desert southwest. All of my personal computer files.. mail folders etc.. would be included in a data format thats timeless (ie. non-magnetic and non-optical).
posted by stbalbach at 3:58 PM on December 29, 2001

What a waste of craftsmanship and money!

Perhaps, but consider that the practice of burying beautiful objects along with the dead has given us some of the world's most fantastic art treasures and actually helped preserve them for thousands of years in many cases. I can't help but wonder how people will react to finding one of these coffins a couple hundred years from now.

"Look, they must've worshipped primitive internal combustion vehicles and giant waterfowl!"
posted by MrBaliHai at 4:23 PM on December 29, 2001

I'd like to be rolled up in a fatty and cremated, wafting my way heavenward...

Ever see smoke go down?
posted by vito90 at 7:59 PM on December 29, 2001

I'd like to be buried in Heidi Klum...
posted by nagchampa at 10:07 PM on December 29, 2001

I've donated my posthumous body to medical science. Teaching cadavers are always in short supply, and it doesn't cost surviving family a dime.
posted by johnnyace at 3:08 AM on December 30, 2001

I have, in fact, seen smoke go down. Not to rain on your waft, Vito90.

I've always kind of hoped my body wouldn't be recovered, however my death comes about. If I make it plain that was my wish it should be easier on the family, and then I can decompose all natural-like, or get eaten, or whatever.
posted by Nothing at 3:18 AM on December 30, 2001

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