■The indigenous god in Santiago Atitlán
Around the lakeside of Atitlán, there are 12 villages. One of the big villages is Santiago Atitlán. In the village, the indigenous god Maximon exsisted And We heard the appearance was so ‘shocking,’ so we went to see him.
This god likes ‘Alcohol,’ ‘Cigarettes’ and ‘Women.’
He can grant a wish, or put a curse, so nowadays he is the object of belief.
Especially, he was believed by Tz’utujil people, and in the village many Tz’utujil people live.
By the way, In the coffee farm & Maya museum ‘La Azotea,’ we heard Maximon was the shaman, but he did sexual harassment for women during the ritual, so his arms and legs were cut… Oh!! Really?
■Finding Maximon in the village!
We went to Santiago Atitlán from Panajachel by a speed boat.(It took 30 minutes, 30 quetzal, Year 2015)
Maximon was always in the house of someone and it seemed to change the place once a year. SO we had to find him by asking someone!!!
We asked someone passing by. ‘Where is Maximon??(Donde esta Maximon?)’
Wow! It was so easy to find! He must be here!! However it was so dark entrance. We couldn’t go inside soon. At that time, someone inside invited us.
When we entered a dark room, Maximon was inside.
I heard that in this area, when Spanish came, local people were forced to be christian instead of local religion. So maximon was dressed in Western-style.
Actually I did not know it was ‘Western-style,’ but many items of different style were mixed.
So it was so original and unique.
The room was also unique and strange.
Next to Maximon, 3 big and scary men were sitting. and right side of Maximon, the coffin of Christ was lying, which had a lot of electric spectaculars like a casino.
Wow! I had never seen this room!!
In the room, local woman knelt down, and very seriously wished in front of Maximon.we had messed up tension.
We were just looking at… Nobody talked…. So Scary.
Maximon was still alive. I thought so.
When we were going out, a man inside said without smile ‘The fee is 2 quetzal, and 10 quetzal per 3 photos.’
After paying, I said ‘Gracias(=thank you),’ he smiled so charming.
I think in this area, when Spanish came, it was so difficult to compromise with Christianity and Traditional religion. This Maximon style has a pride of Maya time.
So interesting village.