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Sagada Hanging Coffins

Sagada Hanging Coffins

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A laidback highland town north of Baguio known for its hiking trails and caving adventures, Sagada is also a centre for indigenous culture, particularly the Igorot people. In an isolated position surrounded by mountains, the town was believed to have been founded as a refuge from the headhunters who prowled the lowlands before becoming a refuge from Spanish colonial rule and then from the dictators of the 20th century. Its not really a surprise that older ways of life have survived here!

One tradition that has survived is death rituals, thought to have been practiced here for over 2,000 years. Discover more about it in Echo Valley, where you can see the famous Sagada hanging coffins. Suspended high up the sheer limestone cliffs, some coffins are hundreds of years old, while others are recent – the Igorot believed that the higher the dead are placed, the greater the chance of their spirits reaching a higher place in the afterlife. There are also burial caves, a practice used by wealthy members of the Applai people; at Lumiang burial cave, hundreds of coffins are stacked in the entrance, where they are sheltered from the elements but still receive the daylight necessary to keep the evil spirits at bay. Learning more about the legends and traditions associated with these practices are fascinating!  
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