Indigenous Bolivians from across the country marked the annual Festival de las Natitas, by praying to skulls adorned with flowers and accessories in La Paz on Thursday. Devotees had their flower-decorated boxes containing skulls of their loved ones 'blessed' and then danced outside the church with them. «We only have this tradition as we did before when our ancestors had faith to their gods... Еще like the Pachamama (Mother Earth),» explained Teodoro, a Yatiri traditional medical practitioner. The 'Natitas' festival, which translates as 'the little pug-nosed ones,' is a tradition which has roots prior to the Spanish colonisation of Bolivia, and combines indigenous beliefs with Catholicism. Devotees carry the skulls in elaborate boxes and decorate them with of flowers, coca leaves and even cigarettes and then showcase them in churches and cemeteries in return for money. Entertaining the skull is believed to allow the soul immersed within it to protect the devotees' families and homes. The origins of the skulls are diverse — some are of deceased relatives, whilst others are donated by medical schools or friends.