Two bird carcasses were found encased in cement statutes by border officials en route to Texas earlier this month.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists made this discovery in Memphis on October 8. The 22-pound shipment contained two dead birds and suspected Elaeis Guineensis seeds.
It was being shipped from Mexico City to Odessa, Texas and was labeled as a gift to a cousin “with crafts,” CBP said.
“To my knowledge, many of these types of ‘crafts’ are belief-based,” acting Memphis Area Port Director Michael Johnson said in a statement. “The Yoruba, Santería or Osha religions use them, and are meant for luck, or for curses. The cement statues were decorated with puka shells and contained the palm seeds and the carcasses.”