Ibaloy Mummies

The sanctuary of the soul

George Christobal, from the National Museum of the Philippines holding the mummy of a child

A 52 minutes film coming soon !

The mountain summits of the province of Benguet conceal an extraordinary piece of cultural heritage: a group of mummies dating back to the twelfth century, some of which have been fully preserved, the entire bodies of which are covered with superb tattoos. To continue to preserve these unique treasures and to inform the public of the risk of damage they run, the elders of the Ilbaloi of Kabayan tribe made an exception in allowing the mummies to be removed from their rocky graves in Tibac and Bangao.

Les hautes montagnes de la province de Benguet, recèlent un extraordinaire patrimoine : des momies datant  du XII éme siècle, dont certaines ont le corps entier couvert de superbes tatouages. Pour préserver ces véritables trésors et sensibiliser l’opinion contre les dangers qu’ils encourent, les anciens de la tribu Ibaloi de Kabayan ont accepté de les sortir de leurs tombeaux rocheux.

Detail of the mummified mother of Timbac
The diviner and his aides share the rice wine offering
Carina,85, owner of the land where the cave of Bangao is located
Detail of one of the mummies of Bangao
Diviner Apilis Manio looks at one of the mummies of the cave of Bangao
Aide Balong Tirso take out a mummy of the cave of Bangao
Aide Balong Tirso take out a mummy of the cave of Bangao
Details of the tatoos of a mummified woman
Six mummies of a single family in one of the caves of Timbac
Orlando Abinion curator of the National Museum in Manila
Landscape of Kabayan
Details of the tatoos of a mummified woman
A mummified mother and her child from a cave of Timbac
Detail of a mummified mother of Timbac. Photo by Alexis DUCLOS
Carina,85, owner of the land where the cave of Bangao is located
Detail of a mummified mother of Timbac