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This curious four-foot high figure, made of wood and dressed in old-timey Western-style clothing with flowing indigenous scarves, wears a black hat and often sports a cigar in his mouth.The statue of the Mayan demi-god Maximon is kept in the home of one of the members of his cofradia—the traditional brotherhood that cares for the Mayan saint—on Holy Week, he is transferred to his chapel near the Catholic Church Maximon is known variously as a Mayan version of St.When the statue of Jesus is taken down from the cross on Good Friday, it will be installed inside an elaborate six-foot long casket of glass and metal and paraded around the village.His head will be decorated not with a crown of thorns, but with one of colorful flowers.Good Friday is the most solemn moment of days of intense sacred ritual and the statue of Christ is brought down the pyramid-like stairs of the centuries-old Church of Santiago Apostol.It is carried on the shoulders of dozens of Atiteco men dressed in traditional costume— another extraordinary manifestation of the amalgamation of Maya and Catholic traditions taking place.Guatemala City is the capital of Guatemala, and at 3.7 million people in the metro area, the largest city in all of Central America.

Statues of saints Inside the Church of Santiago Apostol in Santiago Atitlan are dressed in colorful clothing reminiscent of the dress of indigenous townsfolk. During Holy Week, this fusion of Maya and Catholic traditions becomes even stronger, as townsfolk prepare the statues of the Virgin Mary and Jesus for their ceremonial processions that take place on Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday.“Jesus in the Mayan religion is very special,” said Dolores Ratzan Pablo, a trilingual Maya T’zutujil woman active in the community who has also lived in the United States.“The Mayans really take good care of (Jesus),” Ratzan told NBC Latino.

“They go together because the celebration of Jesus to the Mayans represents the corn, like Jesus’ resurrection, and then Maximon is like the Mayan protector (with whom) my ancestors left their knowledge, their medicine and their prayers ...

So the Maximon is the ‘Holy Grandfather’ who follows Jesus, like father and son…

At almost the same time, the statue of the indigenous Maya demi-god Maximon is carried on the shoulders of a member of his cofradía, or brotherhood.

This person, known as the telinel, carries the revered statue of the Mayan deity Maximon from his chapel in the courtyard below the Catholic Church and follows the statue of Jesus with almost dance-like movements. Santiago Atitlán is one of the places in Guatemala where the devotion to what some call “the pagan saint” Maximon is strongest.