History

7 Fascinating Facts About The Hanging Coffins Of The Philippines

There's a tribe in the northern Philippines called the Igorot that traditionally bury their dead in so-called "hanging coffins" on a cliff near the town of Sagada. They're not alone in this practice: the Bo people of southern China, for just one example, did it centuries ago, as well, and both the Bo and the Igorot's unusual "cemeteries" have become popular tourist attractions. Some of the Sagada hanging coffins are even brightly painted, adorned with crosses and DIY memorials, surrounded by graffiti, and festooned with old wooden chairs.

The chairs are just one of many "mysteries" found at the site of the hanging coffins of Sagada. The list below takes you step-by-step through the traditional burial rituals of the Igorot, revealing several fascinating facts along the way as well as the answers to many of those mysteries, straight from a tribal elder.

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