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Along a narrow cobblestone street in an old quarter of La Paz, in Boliva, old women dressed in traditional Andean garb of colorful ankle-length dresses and bowler hats sit with their wares spread out in front of them. This is the famous Mercado de las Brujas, or the Witches' Market. It has everything a witch could desire—amulets, talisman, herbs, good luck charms, dried armadillos and frogs, ceramic figures of naked couples, aphrodisiac formulas, owl feathers, dried turtles, starfish, snakes and the Bolivian favorite, dried llama fetuses. Many of these items are used in religious rituals honoring the spirits of the Aymara religion. Others are used to bring health, love, intelligence, happiness, wealth and longevity into peoples’ lives. One of the best-selling items is boxed herbs from Brazil and Peru that purportedly improves sex life.

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Photo credit: Daniel Chong Kah Fui/Flickr

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© Amusing Planet, 2017.


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