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Mam, Saint Simon, Judas, Pedro Alvarado, and the emergence of MAXIMON Archetypal Tricksters, Religious Syncretism, and Mestizo culture.

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Presentation on theme: "Mam, Saint Simon, Judas, Pedro Alvarado, and the emergence of MAXIMON Archetypal Tricksters, Religious Syncretism, and Mestizo culture."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mam, Saint Simon, Judas, Pedro Alvarado, and the emergence of MAXIMON Archetypal Tricksters, Religious Syncretism, and Mestizo culture

2 The Trickster Archetype An archetype is a character that represents some universal aspect of the human psyche and the interplay of the individual and society The trickster is often a God or a Totem Spirit who: Rebels against authority Makes fun of the self-important Concocts convoluted schemes to satisfy base emotions and urges

3 The Trickster Archetype The trickster is a wise fool Famous tricksters Kokopelli Loki Judas Iscariot Eshu Coyote Bugs Bunny

4 The Many Gifts of the Trickster Fire Pregnancy/Babies and the Paternity Uncertainty problem Humility The trickster questions and makes us examine things that are left unexamined. The trickster arrives when things are dysfunctional and a new beginning is needed. The trickster can destroy worlds and save us all at the same time.

5 The Trickster and Gender Most Tricksters can shape shift and often change gender Two-spirit tricksters are common in indigenous beliefs Loki caused Thor to cross-dress and himself shape shifted, got pregnant by a giant’s stallion, and birthed an eight legged horse. Tricksters often use their supernatural powers to impregnate maidens and wives and offer a solution to how women might get pregnant when husbands are not present—a solution to Paternity Uncertainty Tricksters ask us to question rigid gender roles and our simple dichotomous thinking Tricksters have fun, enjoy their bodies (and others too), and don’t worry about gender hang ups

6 Is Bugs Bunny a trickster god? Bugs the Infamous Playful Cross-Dressing Prankster

7 Religious Syncretism The combination of different forms of belief or practice Often occurs when new ideas are forced upon indigenous peoples but can occur organically Usually begins by attempts to understand new beliefs in the old framework

8 MAM The Ancient One of the Maya Pantheon Snaggled-tooth and humped back like Kokopelli He must be appeased or there will be discord in the world Very early forms he could control Hurricanes, Earthquakes, Jaguars and could bring disaster, pain, suffering, and death Sacrifices can keep you on his good side God of the underworld—had to be tricked to resurrect the corn god after three days

9 Saint Simon Simon the Zealot was an apostle of Jesus…about all we know Often depicted with a saw as in some legends he was martyred by being cut into pieces

10 Judas Iscariot Judas Iscariot was an apostle of Jesus and betrayed him to his death with a kiss Iscariot may mean dagger, liar, or betrayer depending on the translation He recently has been recognized for his role in the trickster tradition. He destroyed and saved the world at once – and ironically with a kiss. Recent ancient writings shed new light on his role as a reticent participant in the crucifixion He sent Jesus to the underworld where he could be resurrected

11 Pedro Alvarado Second in command of the new world under Cortez Led many massacres including Tenochtitlan Destroyer of worlds Noted for his cruelty and for conquering Guatemala Rape and exploitation of women was common for his troops

12 Pedro Alvarado Had no children from his two Spanish wives but three children from his companion Luisa de Tlaxcala Luisa was a Mayan noblewoman with many valuable possessions Her offspring were wealthy and powerful in Guatemala for many generations and began the Mestizo/Ladino elites

13 MAXIMON Sounds like Saint Simon or “San Simon” Or could be a blend of the Mayan god Mam and Simon

14 MAXIMON Many say he looks like Pedro de Alvarado

15 Maximon Believed to be a variation of the God Mam the underworld ruler who must be appeased Legend says when the men were away working in the fields Maximon slept with all their wives (like Pedro de Alvarado’s conquistadores) When the men returned they were enraged and cut off his arms and legs (link to Saint Simon)

16 Maximon Mam/Maximon is a trickster who seduces women, demands tribute, and can bring big trouble Like Judas Mam/Maximon sent a god to the underworld to be resurrected Maximon sometimes replaces Judas in Santa Semana parades


18 The Cult of Maximon Practiced in the Guatemalan Highlands in a handful of communities, most notably Santiago de Atitlan Maximon spends one year in a local resident’s house where a room is transformed into a shrine

19 The Cult of Maximon Statue is usually stubby – no arms or legs! Usually has a hole for a mouth for lit cigars or for pouring liquor into him People leave sacrifices of tobacco, liquor, money or other luxury items Tobacco is burned like incense around him He is often draped in fancy scarves from women perhaps as a sign of favor His boons are many: Health, good crops, happy marriage

20 Maximon in the 21 st Century

21 Mestizo culture Nearly EVERYTHING in Mestizo Culture is as beautifully complex as Maximon This blending is sophisticated and of great value to people to understand and make sense of their world Cultural Universals like the Trickster Archetype tell us about ourselves and in the case of the trickster the silly or wrong things we do

22 Religious Syncretism



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