Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Ritual of skulls goes mainstream
Ancient Bolivian tribute connects living and dead
By Fiona Smith The Associated PressSalt Lake Tribune

LA PAZ, Bolivia - It's a tradition people outside Bolivia might find creepy: Families perch human skulls on altars, revering them and asking them for protection and good luck. On Tuesday, the skulls were gussied up and taken to cemeteries, where the families crowned them with flowers and filled their jaws with lit cigarettes.

The chapel in La Paz's main cemetery was filled with hundreds of people jockeying to get their skull, or ''natita,'' in a good position for a special annual Mass. Thousands more people gathered outside.

''I was scared of them at first, but now I realize I was scared because I wasn't taking care of them,'' said Shirley Vargas, who brought two skulls, who she calls Vicente and Maria, to the Mass. ''Now I keep them in my room with me. I love them a lot, and they have helped our family when we've had problems.''


All I can do is hope that our kids treat our skulls that nice.

that is creepy.
in greece some groups of people celebrate the dead on a special day in May by going to cemeteries and eating on the graves. there is music and dance too and it is generally a merry situation.
(these are people with ancestors from Pontus in Asia Minor)
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