When I was a child my mother bought me a giant beetle in Merida. This bug was special. They call it El Maquech. It looks like giant ant, about 3 inches long. They paste fake jewels on its back and you can put it on your shirt and have it crawl around on you like a piece of moving jewelry. They teach you how to care for it, giving you all the essentials needed, like food. I don’t remember my Maquech living a long time. I think it lived a few days. I really wanted to see one this time around. I didn’t get a chance to… Next time. I hope I find one.
The Story of the Princess and the Beetle
The story of the Maquech is interesting. It goes back to the Mayan times. Here it goes:
There once was a Mayan Princess named Cuzan. Her father sought out the perfect partner for her to marry. He was a great man and she was perfectly happy with her father’s choice. One day she meets another man. Handsome and great. However, not the kind of man her father, the King, would like.
Cuzan has an affair with this man but still decides to get married. The King eventually finds out and decides to kill him.
The Princess begs her father not to kill him. She confesses her love for him and how happy he’s made her.
Seeing the daughter in distraught makes the King reconsider. Therefore, he forms a new plan. He will allow Cuzan to be with that man, while she is married. However, he decides to turn this man into a jeweled beetle she can wear and take everywhere she wants. Cuzan names her new beetle, Maquech.
The Maquech has jewels on its back to depict royal jewels. The memory of it makes me feel warm and fuzzy.
Merida is a place the Mayan culture built. It’s a place with lots of stories, legends, history and folklore. This was just one of them.
Take that disney—
PS: They’re building Disneyland Maya in Merida… Can you believe dat sh*t?!
PPS: The picture above is not the real thing. It’s a fake Maquech made out of metal and magnets for your refrigerator.