CultureShoppingWeird facts

The witchcraft goods and paid rituals in Bolivia

La Paz. Bolivia. 04.25.08. The Witches Market or La Hechiceria in La Paz, Bolivia. Run by local witch doctors known as yatiri, goods include potions, dried fetus, medicinal plants, and armadillos used in Bolivian rituals.

Bolivia is a very unusual place where different cultures are bonded together. While many people strongly believe in the Catholic religion, many of them are also devotees of the traditional believes in witchcraft. Such a mixture of traditions gives very specific vibes to the Bolivian community and you certainly should discover it when you will be visiting this country.

This article will help you to get some basic understanding of the most essential traditions related to witchcraft in this country.

Items used for witchcraft

First of all, while you are in Bolivia, you have a unique chance to buy witchcraft goods. These can be either ingredients for making your own witchcraft products such as, for example, lama foetuses or ready-to-use products, for instance, a love potion. By the way, llama foetuses when dehydrated and buried beneath a building are really good for attracting good luck.

Potent hallucinogenic products

Bolivia is a country in which a lot of products which one can never buy openly in the majority of other places are regarded as legal. Since it is absolutely natural for Bolivians to perform magic rituals, prepare magic products and also widely use traditional medicine, potent hallucinogenic substances are in great demand in this country. Here, one can easily find such products at witches’ markets.

A visit to a witch doctor

Finally, one can purchase not only the products and ingredients used for witchcraft but can also pay for a visit to a witch specialist. Witch doctors in Bolivia are called yatiri and they have a very specific way of dealing with their patients. Unlike many other specialists of this kind who heavily rely on tarot card or crystal balls, the Bolivian witch doctors are using the sacred coca leaf for foreseeing the future.

Interestingly, if you are not pleased with the prediction of your future, you can just burn an offering table. Supposedly, it will improve the situation.

A blessing for a new car

The most effective way of protecting a new car against any accidents is by purchasing a blessing which is generously offered by Catholic priests in Bolivia. This safety measure is extremely popular in the country and many drivers are heading to the sacred churches in order to get such a blessing. Pay your attention to the tradition of not just sprinkling the holy water over the vehicle, but actually pouring beer all over it.

Note that in Bolivia, it is very popular to use the blessings of both Catholic priests and witch doctors. This certainly gives a better effect together.

Tiny miniatures of your dreams

One of the most interesting traditions related to witchcraft in Bolivia is connected to the Alasitas festival when Bolivians have a chance to think about their most secret wishes. During this magic time, all of them can come true, however, it is crucial to help them. In order to make the probability of their fulfilment higher, Bolivians visit special miniature shops. Here, one can buy toy-looking miniatures of various things such as a house or a car. A person should pick the ones he or she wishes to have in the real life and then of course to get a proper blessing from a Catholic priest and a yatiri.

A human skull

If you find the western way of celebrating Halloween exciting, you actually have no idea about a proper celebration of such a holiday. For example, there a few indigenous groups residing in La Paz who have a very specific tradition of keeping the skulls of their family members, especially their ancestors and decorating them for the Day of the Dead. In such a way, they can get spiritual protection from their souls.

Yet, as you can imagine, it might happen one does not own any skull. This can especially be true for you as for the visitor of the country. Fortunately, in Bolivia it is not a problem. There are many grave robbers who can easily dig a nice skull for celebration for a particular fee.

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