Bolivia: Day of the Skulls

The Day of the Skulls is part of a vibrant ritual that mingles indigenous and Catholic beliefs.

Every November, human skulls like that of Victor the police captain (pictured), are honoured with special masses and paraded in cemeteries.

The faithful believe that these skulls bring them luck, protect them from evil and can even punish their enemies.

In return, the skulls are treated to sweets, cigarettes and candles and serenaded with local music and dancing.

As Andres Schipani finds out, the Catholic Church has no choice but to tolerate this ritual, even allowing the skulls to be brought to mass.

Photograph: Police Captain Victor - one of the most popular skulls.

Available now

28 minutes

Last on

Thu 4 Nov 2010 04:32 GMT