Hanging Coffins of Sagada:-Philippines (Video Included)

There are a few different places around the world that have hanging coffins. China, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Sagada is in the Mountain Province of the Island of Luzon in the Philippines, and is located 275 km or about 171 miles from Manila. The one thing Sagada is famous for is its hanging coffins. This was a traditional way of burying people. Not anyone is qualified to be buried this way; one had to, among other things, be married and have grandchildren.

Hanging Coffins in Sagada, the Philippines

Image via Wikipedia (Click for larger view)

These coffins are carved by the elderly before they die; if they are too ill or weak their son or other close relative will do it for them. This ritual involves pushing the bodies into the tight spaces of the coffins, and often bones are cracked and broken as the process is completed.
The Segada people prefer to be buried in the cliffs than to be buried in the ground and have been doing this for more than 2,000 years.
References:- Wikipedia:- Hanging Coffins – Wikipedia:- Mountain Province

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17 Responses to Hanging Coffins of Sagada:-Philippines (Video Included)

  1. Selma says:

    I had no idea such a practice existed. Coming from a Western perspective (and being more familiar with graveyards etc) it leaves me feeling a little uncomfortable but I suppose it all comes down to tradition. The world certainly is an interesting place!

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Selma,
      The work that is involved just to get the bodies up on the side of the cliffs in unbelievable. I agree the world certainly is an interesting place.

  2. dearrosie says:

    I’ve never heard of anything like this. How strange. I wonder why they bury their “special” dead on the side of the cliff. Is the ground swampy?

  3. Kymbo says:

    I bet more people get killed putting the coffins up than are up there as residents…

  4. aubrey says:

    It’s as if the coffins were growing out of the mountain; as if they were earthly carvings…very strangely beautiful.

  5. travelrat says:

    According to Wikipedia it’s so the bodies have less chance of being dug up & eaten by animals?

    I believe, in some parts of the world, it’s believed the soul lives on through absorption into the food chain. (Consider the words of ‘On Ilkley Moor Bar t’at’ :D)

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi travelrat,
      You are correct, but that reference for the hanging coffins is for the ones in China.
      Yes I had heard about same customs believing about the soul living on within an animal. I feel all the different customs that are around the world is what makes our world very interesting

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  7. Texasjune says:

    Watching the subsequent damage from the fierce Texas sun, I wonder if the sun also affects the coffins and ropes they use. If they are built from cedar, they could easily last fifty years – but then what? Never imagined their burial process; however, some Americans Indians honored their dead by placing them on stilted frames. In thinking about this, I rather like the idea!

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Texasjune,
      There have been a few coffins that have fallen, but you would expect that over time, and your right it would most likely be the weather over time. It’s wonderful when you think about all the different cultures and how they go about things like this.

  8. So interesting – amazing how they managed to stay perched on the cliff in their bare feet! If only married ones with grandchildren can be placed there it must be that they honor the continuation of families into future generations above all else, more important than any other accomplishments – how refreshing!

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Barbara,
      I agree it is also a feat for the living as well to get the dearly departed up on the side of the cliff. It does seem like those that had looked after their family’s were honored, it is refreshing.

  9. souldipper says:

    Think I could be blown out of a cannon over our Harbour? 😀 I don’t like the idea of anything eating me so I guess it’ll be cremation for me. Ouch!

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