Altiplano Ch'alla, 1993
Just outside of El Alto, along the highway to Viacha, is a sacred
hill (calvario) where yatiris celebrate traditional
rituals for urban residents. People travel to this location and hire
a yatiri to preform a ch'alla (blessing) to the Pachamama,
insuring future good luck in business ventures, family matters or
other personal issues. Like similar rituals in the campo, when asking
for good fortune from the Pachamama, one must reciprocate by "feeding"
the Earth. Traditionally this is done by constructing a "table" consisting
of amulets, coca leaves, llama fat, sweets and wool, which is then
blessed and set on fire. As this image depicts, while the fire burns,
Pachamama is given libation, with the sprinkling of beer and alcohol
upon the ground. If this pleases Pachamama, then the people's prayers
will be answered.