This is the Hanging Grave in the Philippines, Dare to Come Closer?


Torajans have a tradition of tombs on cliffs. It turns out that the Philippines also has the same tradition.

Summary, this hanging grave is in the Echo Valley, Sagada region on Luzon Island which is the main island in the Philippines. If from Manila, Echo Valley can be reached by driving about 8.5 hours by road. Like to Toraja, it takes a struggle to get there.

The hanging graves there are a tradition of the Igorot tribe and are estimated to have been carried out for 2,000 years. According to the beliefs of the Igarot Tribe, hanging graves brings the deceased closer to the ancestral spirits.

Elderly people traditionally make their own coffins by carving and writing their names on the sides of the caskets. In accordance with tradition, before being put into the coffin, they will be placed on a death chair tied with roots and covered with a blanket.

Hanging graves in Sagada, Philippines Photo: (anna_chertopolox/Instagram)

Then the corpse will be smoked so that it does not decompose quickly. Similar to the mummification tradition in Papua, where the bodies are smoked until they harden.

After that, the corpse that has been ‘hanged’ and smoked will be wrapped in leaves and placed in a hanging grave by the family. In the past, the size of the crates tended to be smaller than those of older adults.

Interestingly, the laying of the corpse must also be made as if it were curled up. The meaning is reminiscent of the position of the baby while in the mother’s womb.

hanging gravehanging grave Photo: (Thinkstock)

According to an Igorot tribe guide, Siegrid Bangyay, formerly family members transferring a corpse from the death chair to the coffin had to break the bones of the deceased to put it in the 1 meter long coffin in the fetal position. But slowly the size of the crate is getting longer and bigger until there is no need to break bones anymore.

Before the coffins were hung, the mourners who came would let their bodies be exposed to the decomposing corpse fluids. There is a belief that this liquid brings good luck.

Investigate a calibaration, this tradition is believed to have originated from the southern Chinese regions such as Yunnan, Fujian, Hubei and Jiangxi. Because hanging graves like that are also found in these places.

It’s just that, that tradition is no longer carried out now. It is known that the burial tradition was last carried out in 2010.

Now, the existence of the hanging tomb has become a tourist attraction for tourists.

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