Friday, February 13, 2009

maximon | Brother Saint Simon Peter

ph. maximon and his keepers

While strolling the streets in Santiago, Guatemala we were informed by one of the kids that Maximon the "party god" was staying in the city. He told us if we wanted to see him he would guide us to him ( for a small fee of course ). The interesting detail we were unaware of is that Maximon was staying in someones house. So for one year he is staying in the house where we went visit him, which was a bit unsettling discovering this upon our arrival to his location having to enter a busted wooden gate, leading through the alley to the entryway.

about Maximon:
"Maximon (pronounced "Mashimon"), is a central american deity also know as Hermano San Simon, "Brother Saint Simon Peter." Maximon is a pre-Columbian Mayan god of the underworld formerly known as Maam ("grandfather"); his modern name is a conflation of Maam and Simon. Contemporary images do not depict the deity himself, but rather a life-sized carved wooden statue of the god dressed in 20th century clothing.

Maximon symbolizes chthonic male sexual power. As an "opener of the way," his feast day falls at the onset of the fertile rainy season, but except for that day, his darker aspect leads his devotees to carefully guard his visage from public view, for fear that his sexuality may run rampant. Primarily a bringer of rain and fertility, he is sometimes also called "the saint of gamblers and drunkards." He brings wealth and worldly success to those who venerate him.

Despite the hostility of the Catholic church, which has tried to identify him with Judas Iscariot, in many Guatemalan villages Maximon is worshipped with offerings of tobacco, alcohol, Coca Cola, and a tropical plant with orange-red berries. Incense and perfume dedicated to him is scented with the orange blossoms or blended citrus odors of lemongrass, citronella, and sweet orange. On his feast day, he is carried through the streets on the shoulders of his human "horse," and his statue is given cigarettes or cigars to smoke. In some villages he may be hung from the sacred Mayan world-tree-cross at the end of his ceremony."

ph. moximons posse

ph. partying with moximon

In the 10 minutes we hung out with Maximon he smoked two cigarettes and had a shot of tequila! party animal, that guy.

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