Thursday, May 15, 2014

Stylish Coffins - The Way To Go

With most purchases made, the consumer expects to be alive to enjoy the benefits of a newly acquired product. However, a Ghanian company called Kane Kwei, founded by Eric Adjetey Anang, is producing custom design coffins that not all consumers get to see. Whilst certain cultures focus on the appearance of the tomb stones, Kane Kwei has given a whole new meaning and perspective on coffins, fulfilling and respecting the last desire of the deceased.

At first it is difficult to grasp hold of the idea of having a custom made coffin of your choice or what would best represent you as an individual. Spending days just to build a work of art to only later bury this with the deceased some may argue is an unnecessary extravagance. This demonstrates how despite where the coffin will end up the team at Kane Kwei ensures that they finish the project flawlessly. Recognition of their work spans across just a few hours as the burial ceremony takes place.

Coffin Design

Usually the design of the coffin is symbolic for the deceased person and it is based usually on the occupation of the individual who dies. For example, being a local cocoa farmer which is quite a common occupation in Ghana - they are the second largest producers of cocoa in the world - would justify the cocoa bean coffin. This symbolizes the hardships and challenges that person has faced in their lives. Another common design coffin in Ghana would be the fishing boat. Just like everything else the choice of designs has evolved due to trends and changes in preferences.Each design has its own symbolic importance for example:

Pig Coffin: For a fisherman who also sold pigs as part of their business.
Eagle/Lion: For a tribal chief
Vehicle: For a driver
Mercedes Benz/Ghana Airlines: For a successful business man.
Onion/Cocoa Pod: For a farmer.
Bible: For a religious person.

Coffin Making

The making of a coffin can take between 7 and 10 days, depending of course on the type of project the team at Kane Kwei are assigned with. The design coffins are made from white light wood. For certain projects which are exported to be exhibited as works of art, they are built with African Mahogany as this is more resilient against parasites. Once the coffins have been assembled they are sanded down to create a smooth surface preparing it for painting.Prior to decorating the coffin is sprayed with a special coating. Teshie the area where the coffins are made has skilled craftsmen available, who have become specialised in the coffin process. 

Given this opportunity to write about Kane Kwei I was able to learn about the people behind the company. What was quite inspiring about the whole aspect of this concept was the initial determination to make this really work and become a success. A close friend of Eric as well as a supporter of Kane Kweis’s vision Jean-Michel Rousset once said to Eric that no matter what you choose to do in your life you make sure you make it happen. And so it did happen. For three years Eric Adjetey Anang was not paid, but what kept him going was that he believed in his business and his family and friends believed in him.

Take some time to enjoy a short documentary on Kane Kwei at work.


Post a Comment


Copyright © Standing Apart Design by BTDesigner | Blogger Theme by BTDesigner | Powered by Blogger