Mathers Museum of World Cultures

Shapes of the Ancestors: Bodies, Animals, Art, and Ghanaian Fantasy Coffins

When: July 1 through December 16, 2018
Where: Mathers Museum of World Cultures (MMWC), 416 N. Indiana Avenue

Ghanaian fantasy coffins are elaborately constructed into fantastic shapes that depict animals and other objects to honor and celebrate the life of an individual. The colorful forms also facilitate the deceased’s transition into the afterlife. Made and used by the Ga people of Ghana, these colorful coffins are now objects of fascination and wonder at both Ghanaian funerals and Western art galleries. The MMWC exhibit, “Shapes of the Ancestors: Bodies, Animals, Art, and Ghanaian Fantasy Coffins,” will explore the making, use, and popularization of these coffins in and out of Ghana.

Related programming: The exhibit will feature a schedule of related programming, including a curator's talk, film screening of Paa Joe and the Lion (2016) at IU Cinema, and a family craft day.