Paa Joe

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Paa Joe with his sandal coffin 2006

Paa Joe (actually Joseph Ashong ; * 1947 in the Akwapim region , Ghana ) is considered the "most important Ghanaian coffin artist and manufacturer of figural sedan chairs of his generation". His works can be found in the collections of numerous museums around the world, including the British Museum in London .


At the age of 15 he began his ten-year apprenticeship as a coffin artist in Teshie with Kane Kwei. In 1976 he started his own business in Nungua . In 2007, his two long-time master carpenters Eric Kpakpo and Kudjoe Affutu left him , both of whom opened their own atelier. In 2008 Paa Joe moved from Nungua to Pobiman, where he now works with his son Jacob and various other employees.

Solo and group exhibitions (selection)


  • Regula Tschumi : The buried treasures of the Ga. Coffin art in Ghana. Bern: Edition Till Schaap, 2014 (a new edition by Regula Tschumi, Benteli 2008).
  • Regula Tschumi: Hidden Art. History, transformation and meaning of the figural sedan chairs and coffins in Ghana. Bern: Edition Till Schaap, 2014.
  • Regula Tschumi: The Figurative Palanquins of the Ga. History and Significance. In: African Arts , Vol. 46, No. 4, 2013, pp. 60–73.
  • Regula Tschumi: The last honor comes first. Ghanaian burial rituals and figural coffins . In: Kunstmuseum Bern (ed.): Six Feet Under. Autopsy of our handling of the dead. Exhibition catalog. Kerber, Bielefeld & Leipzig 2006, pp. 114–125.
  • Regula Tschumi: The buried treasures of Ga. Coffin art from Ghana. Benteli, Bern 2006, ISBN 978-3-7165-1413-9
  • Regula Tschumi: A Report on Paa Joe and the Proverbial Coffins of Teshie and Nungua, Ghana . In: Africa e Mediterraneo , No. 47-48 (2004), pp. 44-47.
  • Thierry Secretan: Il fait sombre, va-t'en, Hazan 1994.


2016: "Paa Joe & the Lion". An Artdocs film by Anna Griffin (producer) and Benjamin Wigley, Nottingham, GB.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Why make art no-one can see? , BBC News Magazine
  2. Coffin in the shape of an eagle ( Memento of the original from December 3, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Coffin of Paa Joe in the British Museum @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /