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

White and Golden Church

Mexico.

Church Door

Convent and church of Carmen.

This door belongs to the Convent of the Immaculate Conception of the Discalced Carmelites, which was founded in 1698, in Toluca, State of Mexico.

This is my entry for Thurdays 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.

 

Bastet: Egyptian Cat Godess

San Antonio Museum of Art, Texas.
San Antonio Museum of Art, Texas.

During the ancient Egyptian history, this goddess was represented as a lioness or a woman with a lion or a desert sand cat head. Later in the New Kingdom, she was changed into a cat, so she was transformed from a lioness warrior deity into a mainly protector cat deity, exclusively associated with the domesticated cat, although she retained her war-like aspect. She personifies the fierce power of a lioness as well as the grace, playfulness, cunning and affection of the cat.

Cats were revered highly in ancient Egypt due to their hability to hunt vermin, protecting by this activity the crops. So she was considered a protective goddess, and was also regarded as a good mother, due to the protection and tenderness that the cats give to their offspring.

In Bastet temple, her priests kept sacred cats, which were considered to be incarnations of the goddess, so when they died they were mummified.

Goddess

San Antonio Museum of Art, Texas.
San Antonio Museum of Art, Texas.

Egyptian God Anubis: guardian and protector of the death

San Antonio Museum of Art. Texas
San Antonio Museum of Art. Texas

Anubis is the ancient Greek name of this god, but the ancient Egyptians knew him as Anpu or Inpu. This god was originally a god of the underworld, afterwards he became associated with the embalming process and funeral rites, and he was replaced by Osiris in his role as the god of the underworld by the Middle Kingdom. He was a guardian and protector of the death, guiding them to the halls of Ma’at where they would be judged.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Window

valladolid, Yucatan-Mexico
Valladolid, Yucatan-Mexico

This window belongs to the Convent of San Bernardino de Siena (Saint Bernardine of Siena). The Franciscan order built and founded the convent, whose construction began in 1552 and was finished in 1560. The purpose of its establishment was the evangelization for the conversion to Christianity of the Yucatec Mayan descendants. So imagine what the Franciscan monks saw four centuries ago through this window, or what the mayas saw inside the window on those days, when for both groups the culture of the other ones was totally unknown.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/photo-challenge-window/

Learning from the guru

ISCKON Temple, Mexico City.
ISCKON Temple, Mexico City. Bhagavad-Gita daily class

 

Daily Promt: learning