Regula Tschumi

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Regula Tschumi (* 1957 ) is a Swiss ethnologist and art historian .


Several research stays on contemporary African art took Regula Tschumi to West, South and East Africa. She published a standard work on the figurative coffins of the Ga in southern Ghana , in which she investigates, among other things, the backgrounds that led to the emergence of this unusual art form. In doing so, she discovered the artist Ataa Oko from La (Ghana), born around 1919 , who had already built figural coffins around 1945. With this, Regula Tschumi refutes the story of Kane Kwei, to whom the invention of the figurative coffins of the Ga was previously ascribed. In her dissertation, Regula Tschumi goes even further and deals for the first time with the figural sedan chairs of the Ga, an art form that has so far been little known in both Ghana and Western art circles. In her dissertation she shows that certain heads of the Ga used figural sedan chairs in the shape of their family totems in Accra as early as the 1930s. These chiefs were then also buried in coffins that looked the same as their litters. The figurative coffins of the Ga do not represent an artistic reinvention, but are merely copies of the figural sedan chairs, some of which are still in use today. For various reasons, these sedan chairs are rarely used today and are largely kept secret.

Regula Tschumi was involved in various exhibition projects at renowned museums, where she worked with MS Bastian and Isabelle L. and the Ghanaian artists Paa Joe , Ataa Oko and Kudjoe Affutu , among others .


  • 2017 Ataa Oko. A glimpse inside the amazing world of Ghanaian funerals and how the carpenter Ataa Oko became an artist, online magazine Interwoven: the fabric of things.
  • 2016 The splendor of saying goodbye. Insights into the funeral rites of the Ga, in: Above & Above. The magazine for culture of finiteness, Part III, edited by Funus Foundation in Halle, pp. 8–11.
  • 2014 Hidden Art. The figural sedan chairs and coffins in Ghana. Bern, Edition Till Schaap, 2014. ISBN 978-3-03828-098-9 .
  • 2014 The buried treasures of the Ga. Coffin art in Ghana. Bern, Edition Till Schaap. ISBN 978-3-03828-016-3 .
  • 2013 The Figurative Palanquins of the Ga. History and Significance. In: African Arts. Vol. 46, No. 4, pp. 60-73.
  • 2013 The figural sedan chairs and coffins of the Ga in southern Ghana. History, transformation and meaning of an artistic form of expression from the beginning to the present. Diss. Phil.-Hist. Univ. Basel.
  • 2012 death bed for a living person. A coffin for the Center Pompidou. In: Eva Huttenlauch (ed.); Saâdane Afif. Another Anthology of Black Humor . MMK Museum of Modern Art. Verlag für Moderne Kunst, Nuremberg, pp. 57–72.
  • 2010 Ataa Oko et le langage formula des Ga. In: Collection de l'Art Brut (Ed.): Ataa Oko . Exhibition catalog. Infolio, Gollion, ISBN 978-2-88474-166-8 .
  • 2003 With a sharp eye. Kay Hassan in Johannesburg. In: Kunsthalle Bern (ed.): Kay Hassan , exhibition catalog. Bern, pp. 40–43.

Photo gallery artist

Web links

References and comments

  1. With a sharp eye. Kay Hassan in Johannesburg in: Kunsthalle Bern (ed.), Kay Hassan, Bernhard Fibicher, Okwui Enwezor , Konrad Tobler. Exhibition cat. Bern 2003, pp. 40–43.
  2. The buried treasures of Ga. Coffin art from Ghana . Benteli, Bern. 2006. English: The Buried Treasures of the Ga: Coffin Art in Ghana . 2008. French: Les trésors enterrés des Ga. L'art des cercueils au Ghana . 2011.
  3. ^ Roberta Bonetti: Alternate Histories of the Abebuu Adekai , African Arts, autumn 2010, pp. 14–33: Roberta Bonetti comes to the same conclusion as Regula Tschumi. She even regards the well-known stories about the origins of the figure coffins as invented: “[...] We have seen how the same criteria of authenticity that were fundamental in documenting the uniqueness and truthfulness of ancient works have been adopted for recent coffins. The proof is provided by the presumed origin of the work, which has become even more precious and exceptional ever since the death of its "invented" inventor, Kane Kwei ".
  4. ^ 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 figural sedan chairs and coffins of the Ga in southern Ghana. History, transformation and meaning of an artistic form of expression from the beginnings to the present , Diss. Phil.-Hist. Univ. Basel, 2013.
  5. ^ Musée d'ethnographie Neuchâtel MEN, Center Pompidou Paris, Kunstmuseum Bern, Deutsches Hygienemuseum Dresden, Nouveau Musée National de Monaco NMNM, British Museum London, Museum Jean Tinguely Basel, Collection de L'Art Brut Lausanne CAB
  6. Alice Henkes: Africa-Pulp, in: ARTMAPP, March-June 2018, pp. 38–43.