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Maximón: Up and About


To the Tz’utijil Maya, Maximon is also known as the Rilaj Mam or “great grandfather” of the indigenous community of Santiago Atitlán. Photo: Anna Watts/Comvite
To the Tz’utijil Maya, Maximon is also known as the Rilaj Mam or “great grandfather” of the indigenous community of Santiago Atitlán. Photo: Anna Watts/Comvite

Dozens of eyes peer into a room tucked into Santiago Atitlán’s quiet backstreets, the small space packed to overflowing with visitors who come to give offerings and greet the Maya deity Maximón. At the center, a wooden carved effigy of the deity lies on a straw mat. Resting at his feet, a small platter is filled with Quetzales notes, a symbol of Maximón’s belovedness within the indigenous community of Santiago.

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