Bolivian Cult Celebrates 'Day Of The Skulls'

Bolivian Cult Celebrates 'Day Of The Skulls'

A Bolivian cult that reveres the human skulls of close relatives has held a ceremony to close out a religious festival in honour of the dead.

Followers believe the skulls have miraculous powers and carried about 300 of them to a chapel in capital city La Paz's general cemetery.

Members of the cult keep skulls of family members in their homes and decorate them in advance of the annual Dia de los natitas - 'Day of the Skulls' - ceremony.

They have the craniums blessed at the cemetery chapel, which they believe brings them good luck in the future - from finding a job to helping their favourite football team win.

The believers also pay homage to their skulls by offering them music, prayer, food and cigarettes.

Although the cult is rejected by the Catholic Church, it has quickly gained followers. 

Bolivia's archbishop criticised the 'Day of the Skulls' the five years ago, saying it distorted the Catholic faith.

Skulls were often conserved as trophies during pre-Hispanic times and used in rituals to symbolise life and death.