Posts Tagged ‘Maximon’

Maximón Shire of Zunil

Monday, February 27th, 2017

Maximón is one of the most venerated Mayan deities of the Highlands. (more…)

Holy Monday Around Lake Atitlán: Washing Maximon’s Clothes

Monday, March 30th, 2015

Holy Monday - Washing Maximon's clothes © Meghan Eckman

This year, Maximón is housed at San Antonio cofradía. Each year during Holy Week, Maximón is dismembered, his clothes are washed, a new mask is carved, and he is reassembled again. The traditionalist Maya interpret the time of Christ’s death as a time when Maximón is reborn.

On the Monday of Holy Week each year, known as Holy Monday, the cofradía that houses Maximón collects the clothes that Maximón has worn throughout the year. They march in procession, carrying washing stones and Maximon’s clothes to Lake Atitlan, where his clothes are ritually washed, thus cleansing the clothes of the sins confessed to Maximón throughout the year. It is interesting to note that while women typically do the washing in Guatemala, on this day – it is only men who are allowed to wash Maximon’s clothes.

Text and photos by Meghan Eckman


Monday, July 7th, 2014

Maximón is a deity worshiped by followers of Mayan religions.
The exact origin of the cult to Maximón is unclear, but it seems to be an adaptation of a Pre-Columbian Mayan Mam deity to the Christian Judas Iscariot.



Culture or religion?

Monday, April 9th, 2012

I spent some days in Santiago Atitlán for the Holy Week and I was able to appreciate Maximon tradition. A lot of things can be said about this important figure. Some say it is a pagan costume while others studies say Maximon was the first grand-father of Tzutuhil people and when the colonist came from Spain, Tzutuhiles had to create a way to continue its devotion and therefore a story about the third Apostol “Judas” was created. In Santiago Atitlán Maximon is protected by La Cofradía Santa Cruz Fraternity. Catholic Priests have to deal with a way to harmonize between culture and religion. It is said this local Priest is not struggling that well because this year two separated processions were carried away (one from the Cofradía, other from Catholic Church). This was very disappointed for the town and there were some disturbance; in some areas procession carpets were taken away, however we were still  able to appreciate some beautiful ones.