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Dying in Style: Mathers Museum to give talk about fantasy coffins



paa joe

Kristin Otto, the curator of “Shapes of the Ancestors: Bodies, Animals, Art, and Ghanaian Fantasy Coffins,” will be speaking at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures on Thursday from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Indiana University Buy Photos

Coffins shaped like lions or tigers aren’t common in most areas of the world. Yet, in certain parts of Ghana, people die in style. The Mathers Museum of World Cultures is exhibiting “Shapes of the Ancestors: Bodies, Animals, Art, and Ghanaian Fantasy Coffins” to show the work of the Ga people, an ethnic group in Ghana and Togo, who construct these fantastically shaped coffins to celebrate the life of their dead, according to the MMWC’s website. 

The MMWC’s curator for “Shapes of Ancestors: Bodies, Animals, Art, and the Ghanaian Fantasy Coffins,” Kristin Otto, will be giving a talk at 4:30 p.m. Aug. 30 about the form and function of these fantasy coffins. 

Otto will also talk about the process of how these coffins are made and the cultural role they fulfill.

The talk is a part of IU College of Arts and Sciences’ Themester 2018. It features the exhibit and a curator talk alongside a film screening of the documentary about these fantasy coffins called “Paa Joe and the Lion” at IU Cinema. After Otto’s talk, there will be a Q&A and a reception in the MMWC. 

The event is free to the public according to MMWC’s website. 

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