Skull Festival in Bolivia

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Skull Festival in Bolivia

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Natitas are human skulls from unnamed, abandoned graves that are cared for and decorated by faithful who use them as amulets believing they serve as protection. The skulls are carried to the cemetery chapel in urns of wood or glass, or in toy boxes. All have crowns of nardos, a curative plant with white, fragrant blossoms. Some skulls wear hats or caps inscribed with a name. Others wear sunglasses or even sport a lit cigarette in their mouth.

he Roman Catholic church considers the skull festival to be pagan, but it doesn’t prohibit people from participating in it. Mass was not being held at the chapel on Friday, but a bowl of holy water was left out so people could bless the skulls they were carrying in the ritual celebrated a week after Day of the Dead.

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