Hanging Coffins of Sagada: A Unique Burial Practice in the Philippines
The Hanging Coffins of Sagada is a unique and intriguing burial practice that has fascinated visitors to the Philippines for decades. Located in the mountainous region of Sagada, the coffins are suspended from cliffs and caves and have been hanging for centuries.
Hanging coffins are coffins placed on Mountain cliffs as part of the Igorot indigenous culture and burial tradition of the Sagada People. It may not be unique to the Philippines since this old burial tradition is also practiced in some parts of Indonesia and China.
The reasons behind the practice of hanging coffins are not entirely clear, but it is believed that it was done to bring the deceased closer to the heavens. The coffins were also believed to protect the body from being disturbed by animals and evil spirits. The process of hanging the coffins was a difficult and dangerous one, and it is said that only the most respected members of the community were given this honor. Today, visitors can still see the hanging coffins and learn about the history and culture of the Igorot people.
The Hanging Coffins of Sagada are a unique and fascinating funerary practice that has been practiced by the indigenous Kankanaey people for over 2,000 years. The practice involves hanging wooden coffins from the sides of cliffs, in caves, and on the sides of rock faces. The coffins are placed high up, and the height at which they are placed is indicative of the social status of the deceased.
Coffins are made of hollowed-out logs commonly carved by the elderly Igorots before they die; each cadaver was smoked throughout the 5-day pre-burial feast to avoid fast decomposition. Hanging the coffins on high elevated cliffs is traditional for burying a qualified individual. The indigenous death ritual also involves pushing the bodies into the tight spaces of the coffin to fit into the coffin space made from Pine tree logs.
The exact origins of the practice are unclear, but it is believed to have been developed by the Igorot people, the ancestors of the Kankanaey. The Igorot people were known for their unique burial customs, and the hanging coffins of Sagada are just one example of this.
The practice of hanging coffins is believed to have started as a way to keep the…