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Ghana’s Dancing Pallbearers Send Loved Ones Off in Style

Families in Ghana are increasingly turning to troupes of dancing pallbearers to send their loved ones off in style, and bring some joy to what is usually perceived as a very sad event.

Dancing pallbearers not only lift the casket at a funeral, they also lift the mood of attendees by putting on a show. They parade the casket on their backs and shoulders, while at the same time executing a complex choreography that often involves spinning around, dropping to the ground and even pretending to drop the casket, all to the delight of the audience. It’s definitely an unusual display, but families in Ghana are increasingly paying for the services of such troupes to give their loved-ones an upbeat send-off.

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Fake U.S. Embassy in Ghana Shut Down after Operating for a Decade

Authorities in Ghana have recently shut down a fake United States embassy in the capital Accra that had been issuing illegally-obtained but authentic visas for the last 10 years. The fake institution was being run by members of organized crime from both Ghana and Turkey.

The real U.S. embassy in Acra is a large office building complete with security fencing and U.S. military guards, located in one of the city’s most expensive neighborhoods, while the fake one was just a rundown, pink two-storey building with a corrugated iron roof and a United States flag flown outside. There were no actual Americans working there, not even con artists. Instead the staff was made up of English-speaking Ghanian and Turkish citizens. And yet, for 10 years, the organized crime ring operating this fake embassy was able to convince people to pay thousands of dollars for visas and false identification documents. Maybe it was the portrait of Barrack Obama that police found inside that made the place seem legit.

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Ghana’s Hilariously Awful Hand-Drawn Movie Posters

The West African nation of Ghana is home to a subculture of artists who create outlandish versions of popular Hollywood movie posters. The art form was at its peak in the nation during the 1980s and 1990s, commonly referred to as the ‘Golden Age of Movie Posters’. During this time, artists would let their imagination run wild in order to create posters that would never fail to draw audiences to Africa’s dilapidated cinema halls. So they used their artistic license to add weapons, scenes and characters that didn’t even exist in the original movie!

The art form began to lose momentum in the 2000s, when Ghanaians purchased their own TVs and VCRs, causing several movie houses to close down. But over time, the lurid hand-painted posters have only increased in value. In fact, several Western art collectors are willing to pay thousands of dollars for them. Some of the artists who have been out of work for several years are now finding a new lease of life in reproducing posters of more recent movies for art aficionados.

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This Is What They Call Coffins in Ghana

These are the famous “fantasy coffins” used by the Ga Tribe, on the coast of Ghana to both mourn and celebrate the death of a beloved family member or friend.

The tradition of burying people in strangely-shaped coffins began roughly 50 years ago when a fisherman was set to rest in a funeral casket shaped like a fish. Ever since then photographers have been buried in camera-shaped coffins, people who like to drink in caskets shaped like beer bottles and avid smokers, you guessed it, in cigarette-like wooden coffins.

Families of the deceased spend enormous amounts of cash on these intricate caskets, sometimes even as much as $600. Sure, that may not seem like a lot to you, but in a country where the average income is somewhere around $50/month that’s a lot of money. The wealthier relatives usually put up  the most part of the sum with the rest of the families providing the rest.

The coffins of the Ga tribe symbolize the essence of the deceased, his profession, a vice or his place in the community.

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