Take Inspiration From African Culture When Choosing Funeral Arrangements

Posted on: 6 June 2017


If you want to send a striking sympathy arrangement for a funeral or service, take some inspiration from African culture. African burial traditions run deep in the belief of an afterlife and spirits, which is emulated through the unique and beautiful floral displays at a traditional funeral or interment.

Some intriguing customs from Africa to incorporate in your funeral flowers include:

Personal items. Add personal belongings or objects to the display to make it special. In Africa, it is customary to bury personal items like cutlery and grooming tools with the deceased; tuck a few special trinkets in your arrangement or casket spray to echo this tradition.

Photographs. Create floral pics with photos to add to your arrangements and wreaths. Displaying photos of the person that has passed evokes fond memories and celebration, which are paramount at a traditional burial and interment.

Seashells. Seashells symbolize the water, which is believed to connect the world of the living and the realm of the dead. Recreate this symbolism with ocean-themed bouquets or a shell-shaped wreath. Talk with florists about other ways to integrate seashells tastefully.

Mirrors. African culture also believe that ancestral spirits and beings can be seen in the reflection of mirrors after passing, so utilize reflective vessels or small mirror-tiles in your floral display. Ask florists about iridescent pics and accents to embellish a simple bouquet.

Light. Add some light to a funeral arrangement with a battery-operated candle or votive. According to spiritual beliefs, the light points the way to glory. Brainstorm with your florist to find ways to bring an element of light to your funeral arrangement that is both safe and feasible.

Brightly-colored baubles. Another custom is to display brightly-colored baubles at a funeral and in the flowers to pay tribute to the culture and customs. Find bold, vibrant ornaments, textiles, and vessels to bring this traditional touch to your flowers.

Broken pottery. Finally, use a few pieces of broken pottery in the bottom of your floral container or scattered on top of the soil of a plant. African tradition encourages that broken pottery scattered at a burial site will keep ill-willed spirits away. 

According to some African traditions, congregants and loved ones should re-acknowledge the passing of someone seven years later in a ceremony and celebration. Incorporate some of these ideas into your funeral flowers for a unique and beautiful display that conveys hope and peace. Talk with florists about the best blooms and native flowers for your inspired arrangement.

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