kabayan mummy

The Fire Mummies of the Philippines, also known as the Kabayan Mummies are located in caves along the mountains of Kabayan, a town in the Philippines. They could be from as early as 2000 BC and are known to be some of the best preserved mummies on earth. The caves used to contain up to thousands of mummies, but sadly some have been stolen over the years. The caves are one of the 100 most endangered sites in the world.


Kabayan is a collection of man made caves in The Philippines. Each cave is filled with mummies. Kabayan mummies are some of the best preserved on earth, and Kabayan is overflowing with them. And there are so many caves that it’s easy to get lost…among thousands of mummies…that look spry enough to leap right out of their pods.

Scientists believe that the Fire Mummies were created by the Ibaloi between 1200 and 1500 AD in five towns in Benguet and buried in caves. Others believe that the process of mummification began at 2000 BC. What makes the Fire Mummies unique is their process of mummification. That mummification began shortly after a person died, where he would digest a very salty drink. After his death, his corpse was washed and set over a fire in seated a position, thus drying the fluids. Smoke from tobacco was blown into the mouth to dry the body’s inside and internal organs. Eventually, herbs were rubbed into the body. The practice of that mummification ended, since Spaniards colonized the Philippines in the 1500s.