Skip to content


Workshop of Kane Kwei

(Ghana 1951 – )

Lion coffin
Media category
Materials used
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
Accession number
Not on display
Further information

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.

Exhibition history (1)

African Marketplace, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Paddington, 22 Aug 2002–28 Sep 2002

Art Set
Add this work to your own Art Set.