Mayan Moon Goddess
We've finally kicked off the Goddess Project; a depiction of female deities of the world.
As the first of this series we chose Ixchel, Mayan goddess of the moon, fertility, medicine and death.
Her name means "rainbow woman".
It is said that an almighty god named Itzamná, one of the creator gods of the world, married her and that together they had 13 children.
She was revered as the goddess of the moon, and with the lunar cycles that govern sowing and harvesting, she represented fertility.
She was depicted as a young woman as a symbol of the crescent moon, or as a mature woman as a waning moon, emptying a pitcher full of water on the earth, or also as an old woman weaving on a waist loom.
She protected the pilgrims who visited her sacred island: Cuzamil, today Cozumel, where one of the most important temples dedicated to her worship was located. From the port of Pole (today Xcaret) came the canoes with pilgrims who requested the oracle of Ixchel, and with young women who prayed for successful pregnancies.
It took us 2 years from conception to the actual shoot. From photographer to dress maker, we made the dress from recycled tetrapack (about 250 milk bricks), collected from friends overtime. Our wonderful model Tanya Garfias moved off the island during that time, but moved back right in time for the shoot. We met Ros Kan, who became our goddess' amazing make up artist. And finally the mexican wall artist Adriana Delfin painted a beautiful moon on an old satellite dish right on our shared roof-top for the Pangeaseed Project #paintforapurpose, making it the perfect backdrop for our goddess.
We split the work into two sessions, the first with that amazing moon, and the second on location, inside an old worship cave, at a private ranch on the other side of the island called the Rancho Buenavista. The best possible site. Of course everything went wrong. The gates were closed when we got there, and by the time someone opened it had started raining on the dress (which still made it fine). Our portable flashes failed, the generator wouldn't start, so we got stuck with natural light and manual tricks. And being a cave in the middle of the jungle during rain season means humidity, heat, mosquitoes, sticky sweat, and bats.
It was a hell of an experience and we couldn't be more appreciative of all the people that took a part in it.