Los Angeles County Coroner’s officials on Sunday were examining a human skull and bones found at a burned makeshift backyard altar at the home of a woman who police said practices Santería.
The discovery was made Sunday before 1 p.m. when the Pasadena Police Department responded to a report of a possible trespasser in the 800 block of North Oakland Avenue, police said.
“Having human bones is a little disconcerting,” said Pasadena Lt. Ed Calatayud. “We respect everyone’s religious right to practice. Our focus is on the bones.”
The case was uncovered when police found what appeared to be a makeshift altar, adorned with burned artifacts, animal bones, incense and candles, police said.
The spokesperson for the police noted that having the bones may not be illegal, citing having bones for scientific study. This does not, however, appear to be the case here. If they are recent bones, there is a valid question of how they were obtained.
From that earlier story where it was suggested that Santeria followers where involved, I was given a link to this story. Grave robbing was attributed to followers of Palo which is a derivative of a West African religion brought to Cuba in the 19th century. It has since moved into the United States According to those who study the rituals, practitioners use skulls and other human bones in ceremonies.
I can’t quite comprehend the exact connection between Santeria and Palo. It’s said on one site (but not referenced) that Santeria uses the forces of light while followers of Palo Mayombe use forces of darkness to achieve their goals and cast spells. Palo is associated with black magic and many members of Santeria will avoid the association with Palo. It appears to have it’s own set of rules that are particular and changeable depending on the leader.