Bolivians carry decorated human skulls asking for health, favors during festival

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Hundreds of Bolivians have carried human skulls adorned with flowers to a cemetery in the capital city of La Paz, asking for health, money, love and other favors.

The devotees brought the skulls known as "natitas" for a short Mass at the cemetery Tuesday. They later played music, danced and lit candles.

Others took 67 skulls into a home in La Paz as part of the ritual celebrated annually a week after the Day of the Dead.

The Roman Catholic Church considers the skull festival to be pagan, but it doesn't ban people from taking part.

The festival is a mix of Andean ancestral worship and Catholic beliefs. Experts say it was common in pre-Columbian times to keep skulls as trophies and display them to symbolize death and rebirth.

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