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Photographer's Note

Another (and last) picture from my memorable trip to South America in 1999. This time from La Paz in Bolivia.
La Paz officially known as Nuestra Seρora de La Paz is the seat of government of the Plurinational State of Bolivia. The city, located in west-central Bolivia 68 km (42 mi) southeast of Lake Titicaca, is set in a canyon created by the Choqueyapu River. It is located in a bowl-like depression surrounded by the high mountains of the Altiplano. Overlooking the city is the towering, triple-peaked Illimani. Its peaks are always snow-covered and can be seen from many parts of the city. At an elevation of roughly 3,650 m above sea level, La Paz is the highest capital city in the world. Due to its altitude, La Paz has an unusual subtropical highland climate, with rainy summers and dry winters.
The Witches' Market, also known as El Mercado de las Brujas and La Hechiceria. Merchandise sold in The Witches' Market, run by local witch doctors known as yatiri, includes potions, dried frogs, medicinal plants like retama and armadillos used in Bolivian rituals. The yatiri can be easily identified by their black hats and coca pouches containing amulets, talismans and powders that ensure luck, beauty and fertility. Most famous of all the items sold in The Witches' Market are the dried llama fetuses. These llama fetuses are buried under the foundations of many Bolivian houses as a sacred offering to the goddess Pachamama.
An estimated 99% of Bolivian families have a dried llama fetus thrown under the foundations of their house for luck. (Do not buy, taking away is by law prohibited!!!)

You can see the llama fetuses here. It is known that llama fetuses are obtained from miscarriages, though in many places they obtain them by killing female llamas. it is forbidden to take pictures of the vendors in this market. It is also dangerous as they can curse.

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 12556 W: 133 N: 32368] (149117)
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