In many parts of the world, certain elements, figures or spiritual rituals from local pre-Christian mythologies blended with Christianity upon its arrival to various regions of our planet. This phenomenon is known as syncretisation and during my time spent on the stunning Lake Atitlán in Guatemala, one of such figures caught my attention. His name is Maximón and he’s rather funky 🙂
Maximón, also know as San Simón is a Mayan folk saint that appears to be a bit of a naughty figure, apparently representing both light and dark forces and sexuality.
To make the long story short, in some communities, he was a lord of sexuality and therefore he was to be blamed for all unresolved matters from within such subject in the villages. Maximón was apparently believed to be making human-like “mistakes”, which made people relate to him.
One of the such “mistakes” is explained in one of the legends, in which Maximón was hired by local fishermen to protect their wives virtues but the whole thing resulted in an “unfortunate mistake” in which he slept with them all instead. It wasn’t Pedro from next door – it was Maximón, innit?))
There were however many other qualities Maximón was worshipped for. For some he was a healer, he stood against injustice, for others he was a protector of Mayans against conquistadors and he made people’s dreams come true – but – sometimes all of those deeds apparently came at other people’s expenses. Human-like, innit?)) Read more here about the naughty Maximón by Benjamin Reeves in Vice Magazine, if you are interested.
The featured photo is taken from artemaya.com ©