Sunday, November 25, 2012

Hanging Coffins of the Bo People

One of the small villages we walked through on our way to the hanging coffins site.
The lush fields near the hanging coffins.
After walking past a few villages, the hanging coffins start dotting the cliffside.
Some of the coffins that still remain. The holes are where other coffins once rested on wooden stakes.
A nearby cave where ruins of Bo structures still remain. 
From the cave looking out on the surrounding fields.

In the nearby farmland, water buffalo await work.

Mysteries are sometimes more interesting to me than the actual truth. The mystery goes that the Bo, an indigenous group of people lived in the area from around 3000 years ago up until about 400 years ago and then vanished. They left behind cave paintings, stone structures and 280 or so coffins that sat on wooden stakes in the cliffs. Some of the coffins were hundreds of feet off the ground, the highest being over 420 feet up.

Over the years, the wooden stakes have rotted and many of the coffins have come crashing to the ground. Today only about 50 remain perched in their original location in the cliffside. Even within the past decade, another 16 coffins were discovered in the area. 

Why did the Bo 'bury' their dead high up on rocky cliffs? How did they manage to get them up there? And where did the Bo people go? The answers are pretty much known, but I kinda wish they weren't. It's much more intriguing not knowing. 

 - Matt