The Good Funeral Guide Blog

Day out for the family skulls

Thursday, 15 November 2012

 

A decorated human skull or Natita is carried out of the Cementerio Generals chapel and to the Natitas Festival at the largest cemetery in La Paz, Bolivia – Picture: Juan Karita/AP/Daily Telegraph pictures of the week. 

From Wikipedia: Dia de los ñatitas (“Day of the Skulls”) is a festival celebrated in La Paz, Bolivia, on May 5. In preColumbian times, indigenous Andeans had a tradition of sharing a day with the bones of their ancestors on the third year after burial; however, only the skulls are used today. Traditionally, the skulls of family members are kept at home to watch over the family and protect them during the year. On November 9, the family crowns the skulls with fresh flowers, sometimes also dressing them in various garments, and making offerings of cigarettes, coca leaves, alcohol, and various other items in thanks for the year’s protection. The skulls are also sometimes taken to the central cemetery in La Paz for a special Mass and blessing.

Leave a Comment