El-Diablos Dance, At Bolivian Carnival


by neverknwo

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In a Bolivian Carnival tradition, dozens of howling-drunk miners cut the hearts from four trussed-up llamas in a dark mine tunnel lit by a bonfire, accompanied by the deafening blare of a brass band. "It's good luck," proclaimed Quechua Indian witch doctor Jose Morales, holding up a beating llama heart while miners streaked blood on their faces to ward off hazards in the Itos mine above the central Bolivian town of Oruro. "All four hearts were beating when they came out; that means the year will go really well. It's a very good sign," miner Isaac Meneses said with relief. Sacrifices to appease "Uncle," the capricious spirit who owns the silver, tin and zinc deposits in the Bolivian Andes are a key ingredient to Carnival celebrations this week.