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Monday, May 19


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According to our guide here who's maintaining the mummy caves, the oldest mummy
remains were placed in these caves wayback 200 years ago. Most of these mummies
belong to the wealthy people during there times. They were wrapped and placed
in carved wood then placed in burial caves. They were then preserved undisturbed
and their remains last even to these present time. The coolness of the surroundings
helped greatly in preserving them wholly. -

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...  A second, much smaller coffin was opened revealing the mummified corpse of a baby. Some minutes passed as we looked this one over as well as the first. None of the locals were moving and I was left thinking that was it.
Then someone said, "look in there", and pointed to a larger coffin. A boy removed the lid for me. I had never seen anything like it. Three withered mummies. One appeared to look right at me. Perhaps because these three were propped up in a deep coffin, the impact was far greater than had been from the others. I marveled. Ears, fingernails, skin covered with tattoos. 

And there were to be more; in a second cave a few meters below the first. Three and four mummies to a coffin; wedged deep inside. Fabtastic!

Just ten cultures worldwide throughout history are known to have practiced mummification. Unlike the Egyptians, the Ibaloi people of Kabayan didn't eviscerate their mummies; the body was considered sacred so organs could not be removed.
The process was started before death. The dying person swallowed a salt water solution which helped to cleanse the internal organs. Following death, the eldest son blew tobacco smoke into the body through the mouth, disinfecting the tissues and thus preserving them. The body was washed and then dried over a low fire and in the sun. Any draining body fluids were considered sacred and caught in a jar. Once dry, the epidermis was peeled away. Before internment, herbs were rubbed on the body. The process took months to complete ...
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