The Sagada cemetery



 Coffin Cemetery Philippines Death Ritual Sagada

Several kilometers north of Manila, in the Philippines, is located one of the most bizarre cemeteries in the world. Dozens of coffins precariously held to the steep hills hold the remains of the ancestors of the Sagada people, who prefer this kind of 'burial' to being actually buried.

 Coffin Cemetery Philippines Death Ritual Sagada

Although only a few coffins are visible, those which are dangling from the hill, the entire rock holds hundreds of them, which have accumulated over generations in deep caves, a natural catacomb. The Sagada people have been performing this ritual for over 2000 years.

The entire wake, which may seem gruesome to our western eyes, is begun long before the burial itself. The elderly start building their small wood coffins when they feel their time is coming; if they are already too weak or incapacitated , the work is performed by their children or closest relative, so that it is finished in time to recieve the corpse.

The ritual demands that the dead be placed inside the coffin - even if that means breaking a few bones in order to fit in such a small space - and carried to the top of the hills, their final adress, to join their ancestors.

 Coffin Cemetery Philippines Death Ritual Sagada

 Coffin Cemetery Philippines Death Ritual Sagada

 Coffin Cemetery Philippines Death Ritual Sagada

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