Ghana: delayed funerals

An American in Africa writes about the burial of a traditional chief, two years after he passed away: “Anyway, Ga Mantse died almost two years ago, but tribal chiefs are not buried until their succession is settled. This is a phenomenon we have encountered quite a few times since we moved here. Delayed funerals are not uncommon. We have no idea where the deceased hangs out while he waits and there is no polite way to ask.”


  • Why not find out the cultural significance. The weblog is not the right place to inquire about such things.

  • Culturally in Ghana, there is the need for procedures to be followed in the installation of a new chief when an old one dies. There is the need for proper investigations to be instituted into one’s background before he is installed a chief. All these are done such that as a successor is found before the chief is buried. After the chief is buried, the successor is outdoored and subsequently installed after which the new chief organises the funeral of the dead one. This is the little I know about it but there are more to it.

  • george naykene

    delay funerals are part of a traditional setting where the deceased are kept, renovations made and all necessary arrangments made to give the departed a befiting burial.
    Our dead in Africa and Ghana in particular are belived to be travelling inotanother world and msut be properly prepared before they are sent hom
    Consult local Ghanaian cultural experts for further explanations.
    The blog may not satisfy all your curiosity.

  • david bakeri

    The opinions expressed so far are valid. But let’s admit that things are getting exaggerated. Let us say about 100 years ago when there were no storage facilities in the mortuary could any ethnic group leave a corpse for even 2 weeks before burial? It is not the case that a successor must by all means be got before the dead chief is burried. If that was the case how come traditionally when a chief dies a reagent is elected to fill the space in the interim? food for thought!

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