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Bolivians bring out their skulls for blessings at festival

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Bolivians bring out their skulls for blessings at festival


Once a year, Bolivians bring out the much-loved skulls of their relatives from home, which they believe bring them good fortune and protection.

A week after All Saints Day, they decorate and parade them in a cemetery, offering them cigarettes, alcohol and cocoa leaves.

The Roman Catholic church doesn’t officially endorse the practice, which is an indigenous custom, but believers bring the skulls to church to have them blessed.

At a church in La Paz, Julieta Huanca introduced the skull she had brought in a box and dressed with a hat “Basilo takes care of our house. He makes sure we have enough money.”

Rosa Monje has nine skulls including her father’s. She said:“more than anything, the skulls help people. People come here to put candles to them so they can protect them in accidents. When we understand the skull, it helps us and supports us.”

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