Domingo de Ramos, San Pedro la Laguna
Palm Sundar, San Pedro la Laguna
35" x 26", oil on canvas.

Lorenzo Gonzalez Chavajay

Originality: Exceptional

This painting was a major breakthrough in Lorenzo’s painting. The large size and grouping all the people tightly together create a pointillistic tapestry of the traje of San Pedro la Laguna. Few artists capture the beauty and variety of the Mayan traje as well as Lorenzo. The procession consists of thirty-three men and twenty women of which three are officials of the cofradias. Of the twenty women Lorenzo shows the cortes [skirts] of nineteen, and each of these nineteen cortes are completely different in color and design, giving the viewer a sense of the colors and varieties one sees in Guatemala. In some Mayan towns the cortes are all one color, but in San Pedro a woman will wear a striped corte of any colors she wants, so it would be hard in San Pedro to find two the same. He obviously enjoys playing with the colors and designs because no other Tz’utuhil painter shows the variety that he does. Part of the beauty of Lorenzo’s paintings have to do with the fact that they are pure color, no shading of light and dark, no shadows.


The eight people in the first row of the procession all hold candles. The procession remains segregated, the men proceeding on the right, the women on the left. In the third row two men hold wooden matracas, instuments which make a clicking noise when spun arround. In the next to the last row are two men, officials of the cofradias hold staffs with the emblems of the cofradias; they wear black, red and white tzutes [head-cloths], and have dark jackets styled like suite coats. In the last row in the middle a woman who is also an official of the cofradia carries a container in which incense called pom burns; she also wears a tzute wrapped closely around her head, and the collar of her huipile is pink rather than the customary blue. All the people in the procession who are not carrying anything else have a few sections of a palm leaf in their hands. Following the main body of the procession an acolyte dressed in green, the color of the robes for Palm Sunday, carries a container of incense which he swings. Behind him are two men (there are probably two more unpictured at the back) who carry a platform on which sits an image of Christ on a donkey entering the city of Jerusalem. The image is adorned with what look like palm fronds.