Love Potion No. 9

Need supplies to place a blessing or a curse? Find everything on your list at the La Paz Witch’s Market. Market vendors — witches, we can assume — sell their wares every day on the sidewalks and in the stores of the hillside Sagárnaga Street in the Bolivian capital.

In the crowded market, you can find llama fetuses, bat carcasses, ostrich heads, snake skins and lacquered toads. You can pick out a love potion, a good luck charm or a pill to make you stronger.

When I asked a vendor how I could use the llama fetus hanging in the doorway above our heads, she said it’s meant to be burned as an offering to Pachamama, or Mother Earth, according to Inca tradition. If I didn’t have space to light a fire, she said, I could just bury the fetus in my yard. I decided to pass.

And now, a couple other photos of the Bolivian capital, which is located in a narrow valley and bounded by white rock formations.

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2 Responses to “Love Potion No. 9”

  1. Michele Says:

    Haw awesome is that witch market. I have a bunch of those little stone carvings with the “magical” rope tied around them. I’m pretty sure they’re the only reason I’m alive.
    BTW, they won’t let you bring llama fetuses into the states. No Pachamama love for us 😦

  2. Year in Pictures 2008 « OUT TO SEE Says:

    […] llama figurines my sister Laura and I bought at the Witch Market in La Paz met their real-life counterparts at Machu Picchu. The real-life counterparts were […]

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