buried mirror: latest reflections

mesoamerica and the maya world

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Photo Wednesday: Maximon

Maximon: A Maya Folk Deity

This image of Maximon comes from cito’s photostream


Is that Maximon playing the marimba?

, along with some recollections of Maximon.


Life has imputantly interfered with Buried Mirror’s posting schedule this summer. In upcoming days I will be backfilling and trying to get back into the flow.


Maximon graphic

Here’s a nicely laid-out graphic about Maximon that appeared in La Prensa a few years ago. Click the image to view a larger version at Tim Hilliard’s website.

maximon graphic

Scratchboard Maximon

This Maximon image was created on scratchboard by student artist Edwin Harris, Jr., of Georgia. On his blog he gives a little background on the process.

maximon figure

Maximon masks


El Curandero Gallery, located in La Antigua, Guatemala, looks like a good source for Guatemalan masks, wooden figures, slingshots, ceramics, paintings, and textiles. Among their current listings are these two Maximon masks. The one on the left dates from the 1950s and the other from the 1940s.

Maximon is an auspicious folk deity best known from his cult at Santiago Atitlan. He apparently blends aspects of the Christian Saint Simon with a Mayan god, perhaps Maam, an underworld god. I photographed a Maximon altar in Antigua a few years ago, and posted information about Maximon on that page.


maximon altar

According to luisfi61.blogspot.com, this is a fellow named Andy ( a professor of law and economics) sitting in front of his Maximon altar. As the blog succinctly notes, “En todo buen altar para Maximón no deben faltar el güaro, los cigarros, las candelas, perfumes, polvos, amuletos e inciensos” — every good Maximon altar must include guaro (a vodkalike drink), cigars, candels, perfumes, dust, amulets, and incense.

You can find more about Maximon here, together with my own photo of a Maximon altar.

Mexico returns to its roots

Over at Frisco Vista I recently posted about my new bitters, called Old Tom’s Maximon Mole Bitters. They will definitely spice up a cocktail. So what better time to have another listen to Lila Downs’s great “Cumbia del Mole”?

Actually, I had planned to insert a video by Natalia Lafourcade, but I didn’t find one I liked enough. The impulse derived from this article in the New York Times, which says that Mexico is experiencing a new back-to-roots movement. (I think Ms. Downs was already there). The article begins:

When the pop singer Natalia Lafourcade stepped onto the stage of National Auditorium here last fall, it was a high point of a career that began more than 10 years ago, when she performed in grunge-inspired attire.

But for this concert, Ms. Lafourcade eschewed the ripped jeans. Instead, she wore pants from a Mexican designer and a crown of red roses, paying homage to the artist Frida Kahlo. Halfway through the show, she was joined by a band playing jarocho, a style of folk music from Veracruz.

“It was time to connect back with my origins,” said Ms. Lafourcade, 32. “I wanted to infuse my music with Mexican character.”

In a country that is struggling with pressing social, economic and political challenges yet possesses a rich cultural heritage, many emerging artists and trendsetters no longer feel compelled to look abroad for inspiration.


Travel in Mesoamerica and the Maya World

Lunch with Carol at Puerto Morelos

Lunch with Carol at Puerto Morelos.

This post will be sticky in the “travel” category. To start with, here are some links that might be helpful. For now, many of these utilize the old Buried Mirror html, which is less responsive for mobile than the current look. Some are blog posts that may also appear below. These issues will get addressed.

Travel in the Maya World

Overview of Mesoamerica and the Maya Region

Maya Sites

Chichen Itzen

The Observatory


The arch of the sacbe
The western group


The House of the Turtles
The Great Pyramid
Borges at Uxmal


Map of Copan
The East Court
Stela B


and Hurricane Dean

Some Places

Felipe Carrillo Puerto
Hot Waterfall
Casita in Mixco, Guatemala
Antigua Walls
Volcanos of Lake Atitlan
Photography by Ivan Castro
The Talking Cross
Puerto Morelos,
on the Maya Riviera


Four Keys to Haggling

Restaurants and Cafes

Antigua Guatemala, Bagel Barn

Culture of Mesoamerica and the Maya World

Festival, Chichicastenango, Guatemala, 1975

Festival, Chichicastenango, Guatemala, 1975.

This post will be sticky in the “culture” category. To start with, here are some links that might be helpful. For now, many of these utilize the old Buried Mirror html, which is less responsive for mobile than the current look. Some are blog posts that may also appear below. These issues will get addressed.

Mayan Languages and Cultures

The Mesoamerican context
New system of orthography
Classification of Mayan languages and cultures
More on Mayan languages, Proto-Mayan, and the origins of the Maya
The Garifuna Journey

Maya Cosmology and Belief

Principal gods
Maya Calendar(s)
Maya numeric notation
Maximon, an auspicioius folk deity
Yaxche, the Maya Tree of Life

Daily Life


Maya Art and Architecture

The Maya and the Golden Section
The Fountain at La Merced, La Antigua, Guatemala
Door knockers at La Antigua, Guatemala

Maya Symbology


The Contemporary Maya World

Penguins in Bed

Festivals and Celebrations

Palos Voladores
Kites at Santiago Sacatepequez


The Art of Political Murder
Rigoberto Menchu in Poptun

Friday Roundup

Sifting through a week of digging the internet

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