Makech – Beetles Worn as Living Jewelry
We’ve seen some crazy jewelry over the years: neck rings, lip plates, ear plugs made with empty film canisters. But up to now, none of it has been alive. Makech (also written maquech) just might be the craziest piece of jewelry we’ve ever encountered. These giant bejeweled beetles are traditionally worn by Yucatec Mayan women for a night out on the town.
Thomas was so intrigued that he had to try one on for himself. Honestly, I don’t think it works with zip-off pants and hiking shoes.
By the way, we would like to give credit to For 91 days for first drawing attention to this really cool Mayan tradition. It’s not easy to find makech these days, and I don’t think we ever would have seen them if we hadn’t read their blog post on the legend behind the tradition. If you are visiting Merida and you want to see a makech for yourself, head over to the artisans’ market on Calle 65 between Calles 58 and 60 or check them out at Mundo Maya on Calle 62 just north of Plaza Grande.
It’s been five years since we first published this article about the rhinestone-studded makech in the Yucatan. We do wonder if it’s still possible to find them in Merida’s markets. If you’ve seen these amazing living pieces of jewelry lately, please let us know here in the comment section.