Not fantasy coffin, but instead?

Overboard   Friday, July 09, 2004, 13:03 GMT
In recent years a new coffin tradition has cropped up in the coastal region around Accra. People are buried in coffins that are shaped and coloured to symbolize the deceased's occupation or in some cases their life interest.
I am doing a translation of an article about this phenomenon from German to English and need to find an appropriate way of naming the coffins. Popular sources in English tend to use the term "Fantasy Coffin" but I agree with the author of the article, that this is misleading and so I am looking to find a term that will be more appropriate. The original language of the article uses the term "fig├╝rlich". The best that I have come up with is "figurative coffins", but I'm not totally convinced by it. I'm hoping for some good ideas from you.
Jeff   Friday, July 09, 2004, 13:37 GMT
Conceptual coffins??
allegorical coffins??
Elaine   Friday, July 09, 2004, 16:35 GMT
The closest English translation of "fig├╝rlich" is "figurative", and you're right about not being totally convinced -- "figurative coffins" just doesn't have a catchy ring to it.

How about using some of its synomyms:

symbolic, allegorical, denotative, descriptive, emblematical, fanciful, florid, flowery, illustrative, metaphoric, metaphorical, ornate, pictorial, poetical, representative?
Overboard   Friday, July 09, 2004, 22:13 GMT
What's bothering me, is that by using terms like symbolic, figurative, etc., we diminish the coffin, conveying the impression that the object is not really a coffin but something that is meant to remind us of a coffin.

These coffins, however, are very real; they are used to bury people who held the belief that the coffin was a conveyance to the afterworld and its shape and design would help them win standing with their ancestors when they arrive. But what to call them?
Jordi   Friday, July 09, 2004, 23:29 GMT
What about themed coffins?
mjd   Saturday, July 10, 2004, 05:39 GMT
"customized coffins"
Overboard   Sunday, July 11, 2004, 02:02 GMT
I liked both themed and customized.

The author of the paper I'm translating, however, has remembered that the workshops where they make the coffins call them "Proverbial Coffins", so that's what we'ree going with (although it suffers from the same problem as above, but what can you do?).
Thanks to everyone for the input.
Jim   Monday, July 12, 2004, 00:51 GMT
"art coffin"