Friday, February 13, 2015

Worshipping the Maximon

There is a mysterious idol called the Maximon (pronounced maa-shee-MOHn) that resides in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala.  Some say a representation of St. Simon, other say one of the Mayan gods, it is worshiped and venerated by many of the indigenous people.  It moves from house to house each year, and is watched over by men who guard its secrets.  Some say a very ancient stone idol hides under the clothing and wooden mask.

When you travel to Santiago Atitlan, it is worth the experience.  They will ask you for a few Quetzales, the Guatemalan currency, to take photographs, but if you get lucky, you may actually see the locals paying homage to the idol, giving it cigars, rum, or money.

This is the Maximon as I saw him this January.  Notice that his wardrobe has totally changed, yet he always wears a necktie.
You can click on the images for a larger view.

This is the Maximon as I saw him in 2010.  The man in the foreground is praying to the idol.

This gentleman took me to the home that houses the Maximon.  The location changes each year.
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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Men on a Bench

Men sitting, relaxing and socializing on a bench while the world goes on around them.... It's something that seems to happen everywhere -- in small towns and big cities.  It's also a subject for street photography.  Below are a couple of the images I captured this January in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala.

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Saturday, February 7, 2015

Conflicting Worlds

I thought the situation was interesting.  Two traditional men in Mayan Indian clothing stand outside a beauty salon in the lakeside village of Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala.  They maintain their traditions, while the world around them changes.

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