Llama foetuses at the Mercado de Hecheceria (Witches Market).
Much of the produce at the market is the more conventional witchcraft products: lucky charms, powders to curse your enemy, figurines of an eclectic mix of dieties, herbal remedies, etc.
The llama foetuses, though, are particularly Altiplano: They are required anytime a house or building is being constructed and must be buried below the foundations. Pachamama, as well as being the earth-mother goddess, is in charge of earthquakes. If you don't give her a llama foetus to eat, she will send an earthquake to eat your house.
Many houses on the altipano also have a pair of pottery bulls on the roof. When the house is completed, the pottery bulls are filled with chicha (maize beer) - the first glugs are spilled on to the earth for Pachamama to enjoy, much of the rest is shared between owners and builders, the bulls are then cemented to the roof for posterity and luck.
Critiques | Translate
mkamionka (31145) 2010-08-11 6:46
really disgusting picture and an interesting story.
Have a good day,
pauloog (11747) 2010-08-11 7:36
Not the nicest esthetics in this photo but so interesting with the accompanying note, a photo made for this site!
gut31 (103) 2010-08-12 22:54
it s not the nicer picture you have, but it s very interesting for the usual life in Bolivia.
Ricx (13495) 2010-09-29 7:22
Hi Iaian, I find your image an excellent TE image - learn about the world through photography. I also find the comments you have received so far as extremely interesting to say the least.
Good photo and TFS
I like your style of photography so if you dont mind I will add it to my favourites
yeln (11504) 2010-09-30 21:49
zelo zanimiva zgodba in tudi poučna. fotografija je dobro narejena, toda grozljiva za zahodni svet.
clic (15348) 2010-10-13 13:48
Thanks for your kind words, Iain.
Very instructive picture and note, indeed!!
I never heard in my life of such a strange custom to avert a curse!
Appears as Halloween disguises!
AKITA (15125) 2010-10-31 21:24
an interesting shot of llama foetuses and your note,
Pachamama looks very caprice and troublesome...
anyway, strange figures of hung llama foetuses indeed,
nice light and colors, and unique POV,
thank you for your excellent shot,
s_lush (16134) 2010-11-04 6:01
It is better to look at this picture when it is shown as a small preview image. Then only the nice collection of colors and interesting vague forms are seen. The details of the full-size shot are rather disgusting. But the note makes the purpose of these foetuses clear. Excellent presentation of these interesting traditions!
yuo (1182) 2010-11-15 0:27
great. its very interesting and shocking custom.
ruisc_pt (10890) 2010-11-21 7:13
Impressive shocking in some way but really effective on this image!
I like it