This is a busy month for Bolivian "witches," called yatiris by the Aymaras indigenous group in El Alto. August is the month between winter and spring in Bolivia, and thus it is a critical month for farmers. According to the Aymaras, the Earth deities are hungry for offerings during this time, and thus the Aymara people turn to the yatiris to help them make offerings to the gods. Marketplaces are packed with yatiris and saleswomen hawking special offerings like llama fetuses, skunk hides, and porcupine tails but they are also full of other goods from salespeople looking to benefit from the surge of shoppers at the marketplace looking for yatiri goods (sort of like the Black Friday of the Aymara people). The yatiris, however, offer their services for other concerns, like love triangles and financial issues. While other countries in the West, Africa, and Asia may persecute their "witches," the Aymaras respect and support them by employing their spells and charms for their own purposes. [IHT]
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