Workshop of Kane Kwei
Kane Kwei was a carpenter who began a strange new trade in response to a request from his uncle. The uncle was a fisherman who wanted Kwei to make a coffin for him in the shape of his fishing boat. The success at the funeral was such that Kwei was inundated with requests. A chief would have a lion casket like this one, a fruiterer may be buried in a banana, a truck driver in a truck, a highly fertile matron in a chicken. There is a cultic background for this practice in burying attributes of the dead with the body, but this is an original and creative practice.
wood coffin with fabric and mixed media
125.0 x 206.5 x 84.0 cm
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Mervyn Horton Bequest Fund 1997
Not on display
Shown in 1 exhibition
African Marketplace, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Paddington, 22 Aug 2002–28 Sep 2002