Kabayan and its Centuries-old Mummies


Kabayan Mummies by en.wikipedia.org Kabayan Mummies – Photo Credit – en.wikipedia.org

Kabayan is one of the oldest towns in Benguet, situated in a wide valley surrounded by mountains in Northern Luzon. It was recognized as the center of Ibaloi culture.

Out of several tribes in this area, the Ibaloi tribe was the only people to practice mummification as a way of preserving their dead hence the mummies were called Ibaloi mummies or Kabayan mummies. They can be found in a network of mostly protected caves that are  part of the Cordillera mountain range. They are either on the cliffside near the entrance to man-made caves or inside caves scattered around the villages.

Well-preserved human mummies were initially found in Timbak Cave, Bangao Cave, Tenongchol cave, Naapay and Opdas. However, when the mummies were rediscovered in the early 1900s, many were stolen and later on even the ‘smiling mummy’ disappeared. It was known to have…

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