Atlasobscura.com just posted an article on the “Fiesta de las Ñatitas,” a day of thanksgiving to dearly departed given in appreciation for their continued service from the afterlife. This might seem an odd and fanciful celebration but scholars have averred that the aim of Pharonic funerary rites and continued worship at the funerary temples attached to their tombs was to secure their good offices once they’d passed and taken their place among the Gods. Likewise, parts of Vodoun worship is likewise to engage the good offices of departed love ones on behalf of the living. An excerpt of the article reads:
“…Behind her came Xahina, struggling with a large tray of four crania. And following them came thousands more, all part of what is the world’s most flamboyant exaltation of the link between the living and the dead, an annual ritual like no other in the world.
“The skulls are known locally as ñatitas (roughly meaning ‘the little pug-nosed ones’), and this overcast morning was the beginning of their day. A massive public festival held every November 8, the Fiesta de las Ñatitas, gives thanks to the dead, as personified by their very skulls, for a year’s worth of friendship and service.”
read the entire article here: http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/inside-bolivias-skull-festival-where-the-dead-get-diamonds-and-sunglasses
thanks to Soror Hypatia for the tip!