Preservation and Site Development of the Kabayan Mummy Caves in Kabayan, Province of Benguet

Program Theme: Cultural/Historic Buildings and Sites

Program Year: 2011

Awarding Agency: Public Affairs Section, US Embassy in Manila

Partner: National Museum of the Philippines         

Amount: US$20,350

Status: Completed

Project Summary: The Project aimed to preserve 3 mummy burial caves located at Sitio Timbac, Municipality of Kabayan, Benguet and the eventual development of the area as a potential site for cultural tourism.  Conservation work revolved around 4 main areas, namely: a) photographic and video documentation of 10 mummies and 18 burial coffins in the 3 burial caves; b) conservation planning through the conduct of geological studies and rock analysis, leading to the establishment of a conservation management plan; c) visitors access and site development through the creation of sanctuary and buffer zones, repair and rehabilitation of the 3 caves, improvement of the stairways and provision of handrails at the catwalk; and d) staff training and public education on the maintenance and preservation of the mummies and the burial sites.

Citation: The Kabayan Mummy Caves is listed as a National Cultural Treasure in the Philippine Registry of Cultural Properties, and has been identified by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts as an Endangered Site.