Bolivians dig up bodies of loved ones, decorate them to celebrate Day of Skulls in what has been a ritual

Bolivians celebrated the Day of Skulls, or Dia de las Ñatitas, over the weekend, a colorful tradition rooted in ancient indigenous beliefs that is meant to bring good fortune and protection by honoring the dead.

Known as 'ñatitas' the skulls are decorated and paraded to the General Cemetery in La Paz, Bolivia, a week after All Saints Day and after Day of the Dead.

Some are adorned with sunglasses and cigarettes as well as colorful flowers and hats.

It's not unusual for large parties to kick off where people dance to music, drink alcohol and eat candies. 

The celebration of the skulls, which are kept indoors most of the year, is believed to have its roots in the Uru Chipaya custom of disinterring the bodies of loved ones at the one-year anniversary of their death.

The festival this year coincides with the inauguration of Bolivia's new President Luis Arce, which caps a turbulent year for the Andean country that has been rattled over the last year by political upheaval and the coronavirus pandemic.

'We come to ask or the devotees come here to ask for the favors they want, especially asking for health and for the well-being of family,' said Angel Aduviri, celebrating the day, adding the skulls helped people get things they needed.




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