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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