THE DAY I MET MAXIMON


I was in a friend’s house when I met him some months ago. I didn’t expect this to happen. I have been various times in my friend’s house but he never talked to me about Maximon.

My friend invited me to his home one Saturday to eat and after we ate, the strange encounter took place. I remember that we were at his studio; I was sitting in his desk because he wanted to show me various photographs about his trips to Guatemala. We are both anthropologists, although we have different specializations, I am ethnologist while he is physical anthropologist. He traveled to Guatemala various times regarding his research interest for the thesis he made about enforced disappearances, but he never mentioned Maximon in all the time we have known each other, until that day.

After watching and discussing his photographs about various archeological sites, he took a bulge out from the closet; I was wondering what was that, when he started to unwrap it, first from a Guatemalan style stitched fabric, then from a second black fabric, and when it was completely unwrapped, my friend extended to me what was inside. It was Maximon! I wasn’t sure about holding him, I just felt kind of afraid. Afraid of what? Let me explain you.

Maximon is a deity, but his appearance was unexplainable for me at the time my friend gave it to me. As an anthropologist I am interested in religion, and I have fieldwork research experience with varied religious groups, so I have known diverse religion worldviews and also deities that at first were unfamiliar to me, but after research they became very well known and also cherished. Maximon’s form, that was made of unpainted wood, was intriguing for me, and maybe more than afraid I wasn’t sure of the unknown, of the unfamiliar form that by the moment my friend offered me to hold, but also the respect of holding a sacred form made me hesitate for a second, and then hold him as if he could melt in my hands.

What is behind the form of Maximon? My friend started to ask me what was I noticing about the form he gave me, and while I was holding Maximon with both hands and examining the sculpture, I told him that it seemed to me that his legs were too short. I noticed too that Maximon had a hat, a cigar in his mouth and his pants were bulged. The reason of this bulged pants -my friend told me- is in the story of Maximon.

Do you want to know him? Read my future post about his story. I will post a photo too.

Buddha

San Antonio Museum of Art. Texas, USA

You can find other Buddhas that I posted at these links:
OM
Finding The White Buddha

Dome of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico City

Caacupe, Paraguay

When I visited Paraguay, I decided to go to the City of Caacupé, because it is a place that Paraguayans use to talk about as an important place for  them.

In the City of Caacupe, is located the sanctuary of the Virgin of Caacupe, which is the white building with the black dome located in these photos. It is a pilgrimage place.

December 8, is the day of the celebration of the Virgin, although the festivities start nine days before. An anecdote about this date that our guide told us is that the traffic that goes to Caacupé from the surrounding places, including the Capital City of Asuncion, stops completely and it is very difficult to pass for various hours, because there are hundreds of people walking to the church, not only on the sidewalks but also on the highways. So it is not recommended to pass over there by car on those dates.

 

White and Golden Church

Mexico.

Church Facade

Puebla, Mexico.

This is my entry for Thursday’s Doors, at Norm’s Blog.

Templo de la Profesa

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I love the impressive detail of the carved stone at Templo de la Profesa. Amazing, isn’t it? Take a closer look:

Templo de la Profesa. Mexico City Downtown
Templo de la Profesa. Mexico City Downtown.

This Catholic church is commonly known as Templo de la Profesa, although its official name is Oratorio de San Felipe Neri (Oratory of Saint Philip Nery). It is a baroque style building (inside is neoclassic), designed and constructed by Pedro de Arrieta between 1714 and 1720, and financed by the Marquis de Villapuente de la Peña and his wife the Marchioness de las Torres de Rada.

It originally belonged to the Society of Jesus, and in those days it was named Templo de San José el Real, but in 1767 with the expulsion of that religious congregation from the Spanish domains, The Profesa Temple was given to the Congregation of the Oratory of Saint Philip Nery.

It was constructed with quarry and tezontle, this last is a volcanic stone of red color, porous and resistant, which was commonly used in the construction of various Colonial buildings located at Mexico City’s Downtown.

Inside there is a collection of paintings and figures that were made by renowned artists like Manuel Tolsá, Cristóbal de Villalpando, Juan Correa and Miguel Cabrera.

Location: Isabel La Católica 21, Colonia Centro (Mexico City Downtown)

Other photos of a building made with Tezontle:

Tezontle at a side entrance of Mexico City’s Metropolitan Cathedral

Cathedral of Mexico City Front view where you can see the red tezontle at some walls at right side.

 

Paraguayan Religious Figures

All these paraguayan religious figures belong to the museum “Casa de la Independencia” (Independence House), located in Asuncion, Paraguay. If you want to know more about the museum of colonial architecture click on the link.

Do you want a ride?

Merida, Yucatán-México
Valladolid, Yucatán-México

Saint Servatius church is located in the city center of Valladolid, at the south side of the main square. It was originally built in 1545, partially demolished in 1705 (due to an event called “the crime of the mayors”) and rebuilt in 1706.

In front of it, a carriage to travel around downtown.

 

Perspective View of a Yellow Church

Puebla, Mexico.
Puebla, Mexico.