Hundreds of Bolivians carried human skulls to the chapel at La Paz cemetery for blessing on Friday, asking for health, money, love and other favors as part of an annual highland festival. The Roman Catholic Church considers the skull festival to be pagan, but it doesn't prohibit people from taking part in it. According to tradition, the skulls should be from unknown people, but in some cases they are distant relatives. The devotees say they get the skulls, which they call "natitas," from abandoned cemeteries. 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 mouths.
Photos via BigPicture