January 21, 2006

Bolivia's New President Seeks Blessing From gods

TIAWANACU, Bolivia (AP) -- In the ancient temple of a lost civilization far from the Government Palace, a barefoot Evo Morales will ask Andean gods for help and guidance Saturday on the eve of his inauguration as Bolivia's first Indian president.

Tens of thousands of people are expected to converge on the archaeological remains of the Tiawanacu civilization that flourished around 5,000 B.C. near the shores of Lake Titicaca, 65 kilometers (40 miles) outside of La Paz.

There, Morales, a U.S. critic who won by a landslide on a leftist platform, will be blessed by Indian priests who consider themselves inheritors of this pre-Incan culture, which had no written language and disappeared mysteriously.

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My guidance? Ditch the sweater.

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