The Kabayan mummies can be found in the northern Philippines on Luzon island. The mummies were created by the Ibaloi tribe. This practice occurred from 1200 to 1500 AD. Some scientists believe that the practice of mummification may have begun as early as 2000 BC.
Photo: Kabayan or Fire Mummy of the Philippines (Creative Commons: Jeno Ortiz).
The Kabayan mummy is also known as a fire mummy. The reference to the word fire is related to how a person’s body was mummified. In the northern Philippines, the practice was to slowly dry the body over a fire. Herbs were also rubbed into the body as the body was dried out.
Once the drying process was completed, mummies were placed in coffins. In turn, the coffins were then placed in caves. Today, the mummified remains are scattered among a number of caves on the mountain slopes near Kabayan city.
The practice was ended after the colonization of the Philippines by the Spanish.
The process of mummification differs from the practice in Egypt. In Egypt, organs were removed from the body then dried using chemicals. The dried body was then covered with oils to make the skin more elastic.
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Fire Mummies – The Smoked Human Remains of the Kabayan Caves, Ancient Origins.