Monday, January 19, 2009

Potosi and Cerro Rico

Virginia stands next to the machinery, run by donkey power, that produced some thousands of coins each day inside the Bolivian National Mint in the city of Potosi. The mint is not operational today, but was used during the height of the silver rush over 100 years ago. Potosi is supposedly the highest city in the world, sitting at just above 4000 metres above sea level.
V stands next to a devil shrine, sometimes called Tio (Uncle), which stands at the entrance to the Cerro Rico (Rich Mountain) mine. The silver miners worship the Devil to keep themselves safe while underground. Coca leaves, cigarrettes and money are typical offerings made to appease him.
Stephe helps fill a bucket with ore, which is then pulled up a shaft towards the workers outside.
V holds a homemade dynamite. Notice that it is lit.
V no longer holds the dynamite.

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