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Still Waters

Sacrificial llamas shed light on Inca rituals

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Still Waters

Four well-preserved llamas killed in South America more than 500 years ago hold clues to the religious and political practices of the Inca Empire, new research suggests.

As Alexandra Topping reports for the Guardian, archaeologists who studied the naturally mummified llamas and their surroundings think the animals were sacrificed as part of a display of generosity to another group of people who had just joined the empire. The findings are newly published in the journal Antiquity.

Per the paper, Inca people adorned the llamas with valuable materials before burying them alive alongside similarly decorated guinea pigs. Other artifacts found at the site, including large ovens, indicate that the sacrifice was part of a big celebration.




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I still remember walking down the 'Witches Alley' in La Paz, Bolivia, in 1991.

I was on a vacation, and visited Peru and Bolivia.

One of the guys I travelled with - we were 12 in total, women and men - thought it would be great to take a photograph of a 'witch' selling her stuff on the "witches market" in that alley.

I warned him that these witches wouldn't like him taking a photo of them, because I knew they believed that by taking a photo of them you could steal their soul.

He said he didn't care about their superstitions, and took a photo anyway.

The 'witches' did not like that, heh. One of them, who had slaughtered a young llama for an offering a minute before, grabbed that llama's entrails, and hit him in the face with it.

He screamed, and ran away as fast as he could, and the witch slinging the guts all over him till he was red all over, and till she was out of breath chasing him.

Of course I used my camera to take a picture of this hilarious scene.. but the photo turned out black.

Damned witches.


That alley in La Paz was called 'calle de brujos" or something.



Edited by Abramelin
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