el tio - the spirit of the mine

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el tio - the spirit of the mine

In the mines of highland Bolivia, "El Tío" is the familiar name for the spirit owner of the mountain, who is also known as Huari or Supay.­ The words "El Tío" are Spanish for "the uncle" and evince the relationship of patronage that the miners have with the spirit.­ He is associated with pre-Hispanic nature spirits as well as the Christian Devil and is a central figure in the ritual life of Bolivian mining communities.­ An icon of El Tío is situated in each mineshaft to receive sacrificial offerings of alcohol, coca, cigarettes, llama blood and other ritual items from the miners in return for his goodwill and his guarantee of good health and good fortune in the mines.­

For more information, read en.­citizendium.­org/­wiki/­El_­T%C3%ADo

Candelaria silver mine - Potosi (Bolivia)

altar
bottle
cerro rico
cigarette
el el
fork
horns
icon
mina candelaria
mine
mining
offerings
potosí
red
serpentine throws
spirit
tio
tunnel
tío el
March 2, 2010
Ruta Nacional 1, Potosi, Bolivia