Carrying human skulls adorned with flowers and coca leaves, lots of of individuals danced to cheerful music and prayed for favors Thursday in an annual competition outdoors a cemetery chapel in Bolivia’s capital.

Juliana Zapana, an indigenous Aymara lady, danced holding a cranium that she known as “Carlos,” whereas her daughter danced with one other cranium that she known as “Luis.”

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Devotees like Zapata and her household convey skulls referred to as “natitas” to a cemetery in La Paz, asking for cash, well being and different favors. They held a brief service in a ritual that’s celebrated every week after the Day of the Useless and consists of the lighting of candles, music and dance.

“We now have to convey them pleasure. It is their birthday they usually will need to have a superb time,” Zapana stated of the skulls.

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A couple of steps away, Yesica Hilary had three skulls, together with one hooked up to a full skeleton that belonged to his brother when he attended medical faculty.

“I do know that these `natitas’ perform these favors you probably have religion,” she stated.

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The competition is a mixture of Andean ancestral worship and Roman Catholic beliefs. Consultants say it was frequent in pre-Columbian instances to maintain skulls as trophies and show them to represent loss of life and rebirth.

The Catholic Church considers the competition to be pagan, nevertheless it would not ban folks from collaborating.

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