Witches' Market, La Paz
The Witches' Market (Mercado de Hechiceria or Mercado de las Brujas) is one of the more unique sights in La Paz. Located on Calle Jiminez and Linares between Sagarnaga and Santa Cruz, vendors of the Witches' Market sell llama fetuses and dried frogs for Aymara rituals, as well as soapstone figurines and aphrodisiac formulas.
What to See
Located amidst the lively tourist market, the Witches' Market of La Paz sells herbs, folk remedies and a variety of fascinating ingredients used to manipulate the many spirits that populate the Aymara world. Common products include dried herbs, seeds and various parts of frogs and insects used in rituals.
But the most prominent product available in the Witches' Market are dried llama fetuses, which are fairly large and moderately disturbing to the foreign visitor. These are always buried in the foundations of new constructions or businesses as a cha'lla (offering) to the goddess Pachamama.
The llama sacrifice encourages the goddess to protect the workers from accidents and bring good luck to the business. The fetuses are only used by the poor; wealthier Bolivians are expected to sacrifice a live llama to Pachamama.
Often circulating through the market are yatiri (witch doctors), identifiable by their dark hats and coca pouches, who offer fortune-telling services to locals.
Quick Facts on Witches' Market
|Visitor and Contact Information|
|Location:||La Paz, Bolivia|
|Coordinates:||16.496491° S, 68.138430° W (view on Google Maps)|
|Lodging:||View hotels near this location|
Map of Witches' Market
Below is a location map and aerial view of Witches' Market. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.
- Lonely Planet Bolivia, 50-51.
- Photos of Witches' Market - here on Sacred Destinations
|Title:||Witches' Market, La Paz|
|Link code:||<a href="http://www.sacred-destinations.com/bolivia/la-paz-witches-market">Witches' Market, La Paz</a>|