The Bo People were a minority tribe that once inhabited the border between today’s southern Sichuan and northwestern Yunnan province. The Bo disappeared during the latter part of the Ming Dynasty, persecuted to extinction through military expeditions mounted by the Central Court. Some remnants of the tribe are believed to have infiltrated into other local tribes and may have survived secretly until today.

How Man Wong first noticed the unique Hanging Coffins burial custom of the Bo in 1985 during his National Geographic Yangtze Expedition. These coffins perched on precipitous cliff-faces so fascinated him that he began amassing research material by previous scholars. Such studies started in the 1930s and continued into the 1980s. Much of the published work and internal research manuscripts are now within the CERS archive. CERS also visited the most famous of these Hanging Coffin sites in 1985, 1988 and several times in the 1990s.



Mysterious Hanging Coffins of China
Discovery Channel

A large number of hanging coffins in Doushaguan, YunnanProduced by the Discovery Channel, this one hour documentary tells an amazing story about the burial culture of the lost Bo people in the remote hills of southwestern China.

Together, the explorers from CERS and the scientists from the Yunnan Institute of Archaeology gain access to the coffins at Long Ma, Yunnan and document the content. Further research might just provide a link to the descendants of the lost Bo tribe.

You can watch the aired documentary in a five part series on YouTube:


Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5