"Supermarket for witches" – Mercado de las Brujas in Bolivia
Along the narrow cobbled streets in the old quarter of La Paz, in Bolivia, elderly women, dressed in traditional Andean clothing, peddling their wares. But what is unusual here you ask? The thing is, this is the famous Mercado de las Brujas, or simply "witches market".
Unprepared tourist local goods can fairly scare and sicken. Here you can buy everything you need for an experienced witch’s charms, herbs, talismans, armadillos and Dried frogs, ceramic figurines of nude couples, aphrodisiac, owl feathers, dried turtles, starfish, snake and dried llama.
Most of the local goods needed for magical religious rituals to honor the spirits of the Aymara religion.
One of the sales hits – a collection of herbs from Brazil and Peru, which supposedly improves sex life.
If you have any health problems or in a relationship, many locals immediately turn to witches, which are called "Yatiri". They are easily recognizable in the crowd on their black hats and bags, which they wear amulets and talismans, bringing luck.
One of the most unusual products on the market – dried llama. According to the Aymara religion, the family must make an offering to the goddess Pachamama, burying dried llama under the foundation of a new home. This is done to protect the health, happiness and good luck.
To understand how strong in Bolivia the belief in spirits, you should know that every year the miners throughout the Altiplano sacrificed llamas to appease El Tio – the ruler of the underworld.