Or is it?
On the same day the Ajenngano chief was buried, a local locksmith was laid to rest in a giant key.
And pity the prolific Mary Deddeh Attoh, 82, a businesswoman and mother of 11 children. When she died a few years back, her survivors decided that her coffin should be shaped and painted to resemble a hen - with 11 carved, orange chicks placed beneath her in the grave.
Each of these coffins - the eagle, the key and the hen - was the creation of a local carpenter called Paa Joe, who some might argue is now the world's most renowned casket-maker.
In a two-story, open-air shop about a block from the Gulf of Guinea, Paa Joe has turned out coffins of all shapes, sizes and colors during his 18-year career. Besides eagles, hens and keys, he has made giant fish, cocoa pods, lobsters, smiling crabs, onions, trucks, Mercedes-Benzes, chili peppers, hammers, lions and airplanes, to name but a few.
On a continent where funerals are often festive, and sometimes raucous, these brightly painted coffins are treasures to die for.
The idea, Paa Joe said, is to bury each person in a coffin that reflects some crucial aspect of his or her life.
"If you are buried in a fish, no one will make the mistake of thinking that during your life you were a farmer," explained Paa Joe, an affable man with a gap-toothed grin. "And if you are buried in an onion or a cocoa pod, no one will think you were a fisherman."
Functional though they are, Paa Joe's creations are not just for burials. In recent years, many have found their way into museums on nearly every continent, and into private homes.
One place you won't find them, however, is in some of Ghana's churches. They have been banned by some Catholic and Protestant ministers, who consider them heathenish. And gravediggers complain that they take up too much space.
On a bright October morning when Paa Joe and two of his apprentices were putting the finishing touches on two coffins bound for a museum in Canada, a man who described himself as a Baptist usher stopped by to watch. When asked his opinion, he shook his head and ambled on down the road.
"We have the feeling that pagans usually do this kind of thing," he shouted back over his shoulder.
That's not how Paa Joe sees it. Neither, apparently, do scores of customers.
Paa Joe said he sells about 150 coffins a year, each costing between 100,000 and 500,000 cedis ($83 and $400) - several months' pay for many Ghanaians.
Depending on the amount of detail involved, building one can take up to a month. Paa Joe does the difficult parts, like carving the head, and leaves the easy work for his apprentices.
Some of the coffins, he said, have as many as 300 separate pieces. Some even have movable parts - the eagles' wings, for example. The lions are outfitted with a red mane and a thick red tail. And the inside of each coffin is lined with foam and covered with cloth.
Up close, the caskets appear small - too small, in fact - but Paa Joe insists otherwise.
"They have lots of room," he said, and he walked to one of his lions and flung open its lid. "Even a big man could fit in there."
Decorative coffins are not unique in African culture. Among some tribes in Zaire, the dead have been known to be buried in caskets shaped like spears and knives. But here in Ghana, according to Paa Joe, the tradition started by accident.
In a newly published book titled Going Into Darkness: Fantastic Coffins
From Africa, author Thierry Secretan said it all began in the 1950s in the fishing village of Teshi, outside Accra, where a local chief once appeared in public riding on a wooden eagle carried by of his subjects.
As the story goes, a neighboring chief saw the eagle and was so impressed that he wanted one, too - not an eagle, but a cocoa pod, which symbolized the source of his wealth. (At the time, Ghana was the world's biggest cocoa exporter.) To build his cocoa pod, the chief commissioned a carpenter named Ata Owoo, who also had built the eagle.
When the chief died, his family decided to bury him in his beloved pod, and a tradition was born.
Ata Owoo went on to make many other coffins. But it wasn't until a man named Kane Kwei joined his shop that business took off.
In the early 1970s, Kane Kwei was discovered by a Los Angeles gallery owner, Vivian Burns, who started showing his work in the United States. Since then, his coffins have been displayed in museums from Paris to London to Mexico.
It was Kane Kwei who later taught Paa Joe, his nephew. The two worked together until Kane Kwei died in 1993.
Their works have become the topic of numerous books, and American shoppers with a taste for the unusual can buy some of Paa Joe's coffins from the Neiman-Marcus Christmas catalog.
Kenneth Brown, the former U.S. ambassador to Ghana, was so impressed with Paa Joe's caskets that he commissioned two - an elephant and a chili pepper - for his official residence.
From his current house in North Carolina, where he is a professor of political science at Davidson College, Brown said he and his wife considered the coffins "very appealing folk art." He said he keeps the elephant in his family room and the pepper in the guest room.
Brown said that when Rosalyn Carter visited Ghana last year, she, too, went to Paa Joe's shop - but didn't buy.
In the shop, where every inch of space is covered with sawdust and the walls are plastered with pictures of Jesus, eight new apprentices are learning the trade. Paa Joe said his craft has not spread very far beyond Accra, and he marveled that his works are better known in Europe and North America than they are in some parts of his own country.
When Kane Kwei died, it was Paa Joe who built his coffin - a simple rectangular model made of cedar. In the four corners, the nephew carved a saw, a hammer, a chisel and a carpenter's square.
That's the way Kane Kwei wanted it, Paa Joe said. Nothing elaborate. And just as the old master had hoped, his coffin was sufficiently orthodox to be allowed in the local Methodist church.
Paa Joe said he sometimes thinks about his own death and funeral, and the type of coffin in which he would like to be buried.
Looking around his shop, he spotted a carpenter's plane, and picked it up.
"Maybe something like this," he said, bouncing the gadget in his weatherbeaten right hand. "I am a man of tools."
''If you are buried in an onion or a cocoa pod, no one will think you were a fisherman."