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Antique Maximón from Ixtahuacán


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Maximón or San Simon is treated like a Catholic Saint, although he hasn’t holy roots. This Mayan Deity was disguised as a Catholic Saint in order to survive the Spanish Inquisitors; some believe he represents Judas Iscariot who was sent back to Earth to perform good acts and wash away his sins. Guatemalans offer him liquor, fruits, money and, of course, the never absent cigars. Praying for good or evil, depending on the candle color, he is famous for doing favors to people. He could be represented as a seated or standing character, dressed either in a native ceremonial dress (Indigenous Maximón) or business suit (Ladino Maximón). This piece was located in the village of Santa Catarina Ixtahuacán, in Sololá. Notice the many layers of faded paint and patina found in arms, hands and face gained after decades of visitors touching and praying to this absolutely masterly carved image of MAXIMON. The left hand is missing a finger, while the other hand still shows excellent carved details and holds a Quetzal bill. A traditional shirt from Santa Catarina Ixtahuacán worn as jacket and a very old set of washed-out, western looking, grey shirt and brown trousers combined with boots dress the piece. Lovely carved moushtaches, beard and sideburns give the piece an attractive look. The blue painted eyes are highlighted by carved eyebrows. The most special feature of this articulated joint carving is that it has a special rubber-made duct in its back side that is connected to the mouth that allows the liquor poured, as well as the smoke from the cigars, to come out of the body through that mechanism. The believer will then see that Maximón has accepted the offerings as he slowly smokes the cigar that has been lit for him and drinks the alcohol as well. Please notice that the piece has a light green chair, and that the price includes FREE USPS Shipping.

Age: Approximately carved in the late 1800’s.
Ethnic Group: K’iché
Origin: Santa Catarina Ixtahucán, Sololá
Materials: Wood
Use: Religious Image
Technique: hand carved
Size: Approximately: 16” x 15” x 20” chair included
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