Sunday, December 04, 2005

The Devil's Mine

Deep in the mine at the Cerro Rico mountain in central Bolivia, near the town of Potosi, I came across el tio - the guardian of this dark underworld. Here Bolivian silver miners for centuries have offered this stone effigy of 'the white man's devil', vials of distilled alcohol, dry coca leaves and cigarrettes so that he may protect them from the dangers inherent to mining this infamous hill which had given up its ore and minerals since the Spanish conquistadores first stumbled across the Rich Hill, back in 1544.

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