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Kabayan Mummy Burial Caves


Kabayan Mummy


  • Kabayan is one of the Municipalities of Benguet Province in the Cordillera Mountain Ranges of northern Luzon. The municipality is recognized as a center of Ibaloi culture. The Ibaloi, the dominant ethno-linguistic group of Kabayan have a long traditional practice of mummifying their dead. Mummification began prior to the Spanish colonization. Individuals from the higher social stratum of the Ibaloi of Kabayan used to be mummified through a long ritual process over a long period of time. The process of mummification using salt and herbs and set under fire may take up to two years. When the body is finally rid of body fluids, the mummy is placed inside a pinewood coffin and laid to rest in a man-made cave or in niche dug out from solid rock. During the Spanish period, Christianity spread and took a foothold in the mountains of Benguet and the practice of mummification and cave burial was abandoned.  The remains are then placed in wooden coffins and interred in man made burial niches in rocks or rock shelters and or natural caves.