The owner of the house is a retired veteran and have a tight relationship with American people, and i was honored to see these archives.
During the Pre-Hispanic era, relatives of the deceased would travel the off beaten path just to place the coffin inside cave. Prior to that, a 5-day pre-burial ritual was required during which the body was preserved using smoke and oil whilst sitting on a chair.
Once the ritual is over, the relative will move the corpse to a fetal position which also breaks the bones and joints.
Locals believed that hanging the coffin will bring the deceased closer to heaven, placing them in a better position to watch over their families. However, a more practical reason for placing coffins on mountains and within cliff is to prevent them from taking up space on otherwise useful cropland and also for other tribal enemy not to steal the corpse.
Sadly even dangerous heights didn't stop some tourist from doing bad things. Report said that some bones within that hanging coffins were stolen either as souvenirs or for other purposes.
Maybe it's about time for the local government to give all effort to preserve these unusual yet fascinating windows of the our past. Sagada coffins are not just a tourist spot but also a domain of history that deserves a protection.