Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

Cultures > Arid North > Hunter gatherers and coastal fishermen

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Beliefs and funeral rites

Inside their dwellings, these hunter-gatherers installed floors of mortar made of seaweed ash and sea water, which were laid to cover the bodies of their dead. Red pigment was deposited alongside the heads of the cadavers, which were accompanied by offerings of instruments and necklaces. In later times, these hunter-gatherers installed large cemeteries close to their camps, burying bodies in individual graves, wrapped in blankets tightly to keep the bodies in a bent position. Grave goods commonly included objects from other cultures that had been obtained through trade. Contact with inland groups also led to the practice of inhaling psychoactive plants in ritual contexts.