Suspending Coffins
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Suspending Coffins

Suspending Coffins

A Brief Introduction of Suspending Coffins

In Three Gorges Area, you can appreciate a unique view of suspending coffins. Suspending coffins is a special kind of burial custom. How did our great ancestors put these heavy (as heavy as several hundred kilograms) coffins onto the halfway up to the cliffs? Why did they put these coffins there?

Discovery of the Suspending Coffins

When you appreciating the beautiful sceneries in the Shennong Stream of the Three Gorges area by ship, raise your head, and you can see the suspending coffins on the cliffs on the gorges. It is really astonishing. That is where the ancient Ba people placed the dead. Before the water storage of the Three Gorges reservoir, these coffins are much farer from the water surface than the now. These coffins mostly weigh several hundred kilograms and they were all put on the steep cliffs which are unavailable for climbing up. How did the ancient Ba people make it? These suspending coffins add much mysterious color to the Three Gorges area.

Culture of Suspending Coffins

According to the experts, there are different funeral customs and burial methods in different areas. In Spring and Autumn Period, the Three Gorges area where the Ba people lived had already used the suspending coffins as their burial method. They believed that the higher one locates, the nobler he is. That is to say, they placed the dead in the high places to show their respect. So the suspending coffins are a reflection of ones' filial piety.

There is also another viewpoint about the suspending coffins culture. It is said that the high mountains are the rely of the ancestors' life and spirits. The mountains were unapproachable and thus were mysterious. They held that putting the dead on the steep cliffs was a worship to the spirits and was a hope that the dead spirit can go to the fairy kingdom.

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