August 9, 2013
Day Six: Sleeping Zombies
At the base of Thunupa Volcano is a cave that is home to a family of sacrificed mummies who have been there for over 1200 years. Due to the altitude, the air is dry and cold so the bodies have been well preserved and the cave still contains pottery with remnants of food (quinoa and llama) left with them for the afterlife.
There are six mummies: the mother, father, two teenage children and two small children. Apparently the ethnic group of Chiparas lived in Coquesa until they were killed and the village was taken over by Aymaras. The Aymaras sacrificed the family of Chiparas, leaving them all in the foetal position so that they could be reborn into the next wold.
Aymara people still live in the village today, and every year on the first of August there is a ceremony at the cave to honour the pachamama.
Two small children and the father in the walled off area; mother on the right.
After 1200 years, there is still colour in the pottery and cloth wrapped around the bodies.
One of the older children with offerings of food for the afterlife.
The other older child. If you look closely you can still see colours in the woven cloth.