Hanging Coffins of the Bo in Gongxian County

Last updated by chinatravel at 2014/5/2

Survey

Hanging coffins of the Bo can date back before Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), which is the important section for preservation of cultural relics. The coffins are mainly clustered around Matangba and Sumawan where some 100 coffins are hung on the limestone cliffs to both sides of the 5,000-meter-long Bochuangou. Hanging coffin is a unique funeral and sacrifice custom of the minority groups in southern China. People put the bodies of their ancestors into wooden coffins that were later placed in caves of precipitous cliff sides. Usually the body was covered by linen, surrounding by the burial articles, such as some silk and linen textiles, China wares, bamboo wares and iron wares.

Scenic spot

Hanging coffins in Matangba

It is the core of hanging coffins of the Bo, which is in the south-west of Luobiao town in Gongxian County. The scenic spot simply is a village, where you can enjoy the nature beauty by the farmland, stream, mountains, cows and the farmers, etc. The villagers there are contented to live a simple life, and they will be very glad to tell you various local stories and legends.

Matangba is 300 - 500 meters wide from east to west, 1000 meters long from south to north with so many long sweep mountains. Looking up, you can see the pitchy hanging coffins half-way up the mountains now and then, which are the well-known hanging coffins of the Bo. The existing hanging coffins are just 223 ones, mainly the ones cantilevered out on wooden stakes. They are usually put above 20-30 meters high, with the highest ones of above 100 meters. Besides, you can also appreciate the colorful and various mural paintings.

Sumawan hanging coffins

It is in the north bank of Dengjia River in Haitang village, Caoying town. There are 42 existing coffins, among which 7 ones are placed in caves or sit on projections in the rock while 35 others cantilever out on wooden stakes. The tourists can view the site by boat along the river.

Others

Hanging coffins come in three types. Some are cantilevered out on wooden stakes. Some are placed in caves while others sit on projections in the rock. All the three forms can be found in Gongxian where most of China’s hanging coffins are located. The buried goods and the mural paintings are the other attractions, which can show the character of minority art. Furthermore, it was found that there were dinosaur fossils which were older than the Zigong dinosaur and the unfathomable huge caves which are so mysterious.

Solo Adventure Tips:

Location:

How to Get There?
You can get to Gongxian County from Yinbin by train, then to the places where the most of hanging coffins are clustered, such as Matang Ba and Suma Wan by bus.

Ticket Price:

Opening Hours:
8:30 a.m-17:30 p.m

More Tips:
1. You should be more cautious during the trip because the road is full of slopes and turns; 2. You’d better follow a local tourist guide in the case of missing the best figures; 3. You’d better lodge in Luobiao town if you like to know the hanging coffins well. There are only 2 or 3 ordinary hotels, among which the better and cleaner one is Jing Lilai Hotel with low price. If you like to find more luxurious hotels with better equipments, you can lodge in Xunchang town, Gongxian County even Yibin City.


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