Showing posts with label Lumiang cave. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lumiang cave. Show all posts

SAGADA: Exploring the Lumiang Burial Cave with Kids

August 7, 2014

SAGADA: Exploring the Lumiang Burial Cave with Kids

Why Visit the Lumiang Burial Cave:

Below are the highlights of SAGGAS guide Gareth Likigan's Lumiang Cave Guided Tour. The information he shared with us show why it's worth visiting the Lumiang Burial cave. The burial rites of the people of Sagada form a very important part of their lives. How it is conducted affects all their beliefs on life and death and therefore has played a dominant role in forming their culture.

If you wish to watch the video of the tour, check out the video I uploaded below. 

These are the highlights of Gareth Likigan's guided tour, shown in the video below:

1. The name "Lumiang" came from the rootword "liang", meaning cave. Therefore, if you translate it in English, it will be called "Cave burial cave".
2. The Lumiang cave used to be a cemetery or a burial cave. About 100 coffins were buried there but throughout the years, many have fallen. deeper into the cave.
3. There are many burial caves in Sagada but this one is the most visited because it is accessible.
4. The last coffin to be buried at Lumiang cave was in 1986. The practice of burying in caves is still done elsewhere. They don't do it here anymore because a lot of tourists visit this cave. They won't be able to endure the smell if they still use this as a burial cave
5. The coffin buried here range from 100-500 years old. The lower the coffin, the older it is. They bury the coffin by piling one on top of the other.
6. The coffins are made of pine trees and cut out like a canoe. Inside the hollowed portion is where they bury the dead.
7. The coffins are small because they bury the dead in a fetal position. Their belief is that we came out our mothers in a fetal position so we should go out of this world in a fetal position be reborn to mother nature.
8. The practice of burying the dead in long rectangular coffins was the effect of the arrival of Christianity. When Christianity arrived, they buried the dead lying down.
Other information we got from our conversations with our guide:

How the coffins are transported:
All the relatives, friends and village mates form a line from the house of the deceased to the burial cave, and they each take turns transporting the body of the deceased until it reaches the cave. Then they put the body inside the pine coffin.
Why bury the dead in caves:
So they can easily escape their coffins and go to the after-life.

Where it is located:
It is located along other main road of Sagada where all the restaurants are. It is located before the Sumaging Cave. 

Lumiang cave is the start-off point of the cave connection tour and then you exit through Sumaging cave.

We only took the Sumaging cave tour. A visit to Lumiang cave is included in the Sumaging cave tour. We entered Lumiang cave through the main entrance and exited the same way. We walked along the main road again and entered Sumaging cave from the entrance and exited the same way. 

Below is the Lumiang Burial Cave Tour:

At the left of the photo is the entrance along the road that leads to Lumiang cave.

Close-up of the entrance that leads to Lumiang cave.

Then you go down a flight of stairs.

Going deeper towards the mouth of the cave.
You see the coffins on the right side of the photo.

This is the video I took of the lecture of SAGGAS guide, Gareth Likigan.

The small pine coffin side-by-side the rectangular one.
The rectangular coffin is the latest coffin buried in 1985

You can inspect the coffins up close

Some coffins are inserted in a niche near the roof of the cave.
They believe that the higher the coffins are the easier it is for them to escape from the cave and go on to the after-life.

Wooden nails sealing the coffin