Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"a ritual cleansing"

Clear lines in the stony sand formed a 200-foot-long image of the flute-playing Native American god Kokopelli. Beside him was Cicimitl, an Aztec spirit said to guide souls to the afterlife.

"No one has a clue that this stuff is out here," said Alfredo Figueroa, picking his way around a massive foot.

The self-taught historian has made it his mission to guard these huge carvings in the earth known as geoglyphs. On this day, he brought in Aztec dancers to do a ritual cleansing of the site.

Above, Estrella Newman, 76, center, drummer Jesus Figuera, left, and Aztec dancer Netze Cauhtemoc, right, perform a sacred dance around burning sage during a ritual cleansing of the grounds near several giant geoglyphs in the desert near Blythe.

(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

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