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Published: October 29th 2007
After Puno we had a few days to wait till we could do the Inca trail, as there was a long waiting list. We were so close to the Bolivian border it was irresponsible not to resist a peek inside. From the boarder to the Bolivian capital of La Paz it took another six hours by bus, including lunch break. This is the highest capital city in the world at 11,811ft above sea level. I think my lungs had adjusted well by being in Cusco for so long as I had no breathing problems at all. The city is also known as The Shanghai of the Americas due to its unique markets, traditional customs and high location. La Paz has other names such as Nuestra Senora De La Paz or Our Lady of Peace and The City of Stars due to it being so near to the galactic universal stars; saying that I spotted Kim Bassenger on the carton of some fruit flavoured hormonal supplement drink in a voodoo shop in down town La Paz.
The witches market in Calle Lineres is also known as El Marcardo De Las Brujas. In between the many sports shops are many more curious
witchy woo cavern shops and spooky market stands. The one item the witch shops sell by the hundreds are baby Llama foetuses. Some poor dead creatures still have pure white fur still attached; some offerings the fur is boiled clean off. These items are normally suspended from rusty old hooks or leaning upon rickety old trestle tables next to the boiled sweet pick n mix section. These creatures are bought and used by the underprivileged poor, it is the symbol of new life and thus buried into the foundations of a new home or business, this ceremony is performed by the skilful neighbourhood shaman. This foetal offering is called Cha’lla and is presented to the Andean and Amazonian Goddess Pachamama, she is more commonly known as Mother Earth. These Llama sacrifices are offered mainly to encourage the Goddess to protect the home and inhabitants from illness and fatal accidents. When buried within the foundations of a place of business it is meant to bring good business, wealth and abundance to all the employees.
The dead baby llamas hung alongside real human skulls wearing hoodies bought from the sports shops next door, soapstone figurines shaped like gods and demons,
potent aphrodisiac formulas audibly brewing in back rooms, magic ceramic talisman choked with local good luck charms, lotions, potions and dead animals that came in skins of every kind including dried frogs of all sizes with glittering diamante eye balls that not only assist the healing of illnesses and ward off malevolent bothersome spirits. I am finding that this practise of various payments and offerings of witchcraft especially towards our beloved Mother Earth herself is widely used all over the Central-South America to enrich the land we feed from and for selfish evil (unconscious) reasons of attack towards hated others, whatever the reason it is all taken very seriously over here.
I recently spoke to a Peruvian man, he told me of various hex’s that have been placed on himself by embittered ex-girlfriends, how they have made him feel ill in spirit and body, he then had to go to seek council from one of these Yatiri witch doctors to counter balance the spells on his mental health. He knew of people who have gone crazy and become very ill and not known that they have been Bewitched by some envious other, the symptoms were only detected by wise
spiritual elders not by the local General Practitioner. The spiritual elders helped heal the demented possessed by virtually exorcising the evil demon away from their bodies, using all of the above.
I spotted many dark hidden dwellings where obvious yatiri witch doctors were giving private council for the poor locals under conspicuous tarpaulin covers, using traditional tarot cards and coca leaves (leaves from Columbia that make real cocaine, but great tea over here) I observed that the leaves were laid on the ground in patterns and coins placed on top of them all in rows. I tried to visually study how they were reading these interpretations but they saw my camera, which was after I took one snap then abruptly switched it off, but the camera still hung from my neck, so they rightfully shooed me away.
The Bolivians practise Aymara Death Ritual that is also known as The Mortuary Ritual. This is where the Diamante eyed dead frogs come in to practice, along with the material offerings of fatal (if your British) ‘CHICHA’ fermented drink, animal fats, unwrought silver, sweets and coral beans these ingredients mixed with the physical singing, bird whistling, prayers and dance are all
meant to bring the dead back to life, to return the spirit to the organ dead post mortemed body. This is one kooky city.
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