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Mysterious hanging coffins in SW China

(Xinhua)

14:19, May 02, 2012

Photo taken on April 29, 2012 shows the hanging coffins in the cliff in Xinjian Village of Jiusi Township, Xingwen County, southwest China's Sichuan Province. (Xinhua/Jiang Hongjing)

More than 100 hanging coffins are found in the village. Hanging coffins are an ancient funeral custom of some minority groups, especially the Bo people of southwest China.

Coffins of various shapes were mostly carved from one whole piece of wood.

Hanging coffins either lie on beams projecting outward from vertical faces such as mountains, are placed in caves in the face of cliffs, or sit on natural rock projections on mountain faces.

It was said that the hanging coffins could prevent bodies from being taken by beasts and also bless the soul eternally.

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