Project

« Back

KABAYAN MUMMY CAVES

KABAYAN MUMMY CAVES
Kabayan, Philippines
+ More
BACKGROUND

When industrial activity began in the forests north of Manila, loggers discovered ancient burial caves hewn out of the rock containing mummified remains and hundreds of coffins and skulls. The Ibaloi tribe, which has existed in Benguet province for thousands of years, practiced embalming rituals also found in New Guinea and similar to those of the Egyptian 21st dynasty. (...)

+ More
HOW WE HELPED

In addition to man-made problems, many of the caves were plagued by insect infestation and fungal growth. Although some slight research had been done and a few fences had been erected, any effort to protect the caves was complicated by their remoteness. (...)

+ More
WHY IT MATTERS

Although mummification is no longer practiced among the Ibaloi people of Benguet Province, the tribe today still considers the Kabayan caves to be sacred territory and performs rituals in the area. The Ibaloi recently reburied one of the looted mummies, the intricately tattooed corpse of a chieftain named Apo Annu, after the National Museum procured and returned his body. (...)