One of the great festivals in Guatemala is Semana Santa in Antigua. On Easter celebrants bear heavy floats depicting images from the passion of Christ; the floats, some requiring dozens of carriers, may weigh thousands of pounds.
Elaborate carpets — alfombras — of pine needles, corn kernels, flowers, and sawdust are created on the cobbled streets. These beautiful artworks will soften the treads of the bearers of the heavy statuary as they make their way across the hard, uneven cobbles. And they will be destroyed by them.
These photos were taken many years ago. The corn in this alfombra detail is interesting. The figure appears to be presenting the corn as a form of offering. The corn seems to emerge from a cooking vessel.
Maize has been the main crop of Mesoamerica since time immemorial. One of the chief deities of the classic Maya was the corn god, who is associated with death and rebirth. He descends to the underworld and reemerges in youthful guise much like a young shoot breaking through the surface of the earth at the beginning of the growing season. So it is natural that he would become associated with Easter, a springtime festival that is also associated with death and rebirth.