Suspended coffins were a special kind
of burying form of the Bo People, an ancient minority group. These coffins were
discovered west of Sichuan Province and northwest of Yunnan Province, with
Gongxian County of Sichuan Province as one of the places with the most
concentrated number of suspended coffins.
Matangba is also called Fanchuangou -- a
narrow plain 500 meters long from north to south and 400 to 1,000 meters wide
form east to west. A clear stream named the Crab Stream (Pangxiexi) runs along
the center of the plain. Suspended coffins dot the two banks of the Crab Stream,
with some being over 10 meters above ground level and some even several tens of
meters above ground level. The wooden coffins were placed in caves dug in the
cliff or in natural caves. There are over 160 coffins in the Crab Stream area.
On the precipice of Matangba are many murals
with bright colors and vivid images. Paintings depicting horse-riding, dancing,
acrobatics and animals and weapons reflect the social lives and customs of the
local people. They are of great importance to the study of the history of
ancient minority groups in the south of Sichuan.