Sagada’s hanging coffins

In different parts of the world different cultures have different ways of celebrating or ritualizing death, and it changes from place to place and from time to time. And some forms are simply peculiar and striking.


A spectacle for the eye

Such is the case of the Igorot tribe, or tribe of the Igorotes, settled on the island of Luzon, one of the most important islands in the Philippines.

The igorotes, a term meaning “mountain”, are made up of six tribes: the bontocs, the ibaloys, the ifugaos, the apayaos, the Kalingas and the Kankana-eys, and inhabit the rugged and rugged terrain of the central mountain range of Luzon Island.

The Igorot have become famous for a funeral practice they have been doing for hundreds of years, over several generations.

When an igorot dies, members of his tribe make a makeshift wooden coffin, introduce the deceased there and after a funeral ritual they proceed to hang it on one of the walls of the cliffs of the mountains, which is why the place has become known c omo the hanging dead, or the hanging coffins of Sagada.

Coffins are sometimes marked with the person’s name so tribe members know what coffin their tribal limb is in.

For the igorot such a funeral ritual is not unfounded, but they think that through it the dead approach the ancestral spirits, in addition to enjoying the nature and spirits that inhabit it.

“It is important that they may receive sunlight, so that the sun may live the soul of the dead,” notes the igorot, who like to lead a quiet life with contact with nature, and dedicated to agriculture, the main economic activity of the island.

Sagada’s hanging coffins
Source: curiosities  
August 14, 2019


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