Ekkeko is an ancient Andean deity
, the god of abundance and luck.

In Bolivia and Peru, six-inch ceramic statues of Ekkeko are common. Ekkeko is dressed in modern clothes with a woolen 'knitchullo' cap. He has outstretched arms, an open mouth (to receive a cigarette), and a painted moustache.

Every January 24, during the festival of Alasitas, believers purchase miniature articles -- food, clothing, vehicles, tiny 100-dollar bills, marriage licenses -- that represent their desires. According to legend, when you place the miniature object on the Ekkeko statuette you will receive what you wish for in the following year.

It is considered bad luck to remove the miniatures, so as time passes the Ekkeko doll becomes laden with colorful symbols of hopes and dreams.