The belief that everything in the environment is alive is known as animatism, which precedes animism. Animatism has not yet arrived at an understanding of the soul, but is a belief in a condition in which every object in our surroundings is, like ourselves, alive, conscious and capable of thought. The primitive’s perception of objects being alive, that is, objects which he regards as sacred, is that of overflowing power. This concept of having special power and being alive would not always cause primitive man to assign a soul or spirit to the object, because the idea of being alive is quite distinct from that of having a soul or spirit. The object may be alive or animated but lack a spirit or soul within. However, it might possess a form of energy which can communicate feelings and has a will of its own.
|Guatemala – Santiago Atitlan|
Guatemala – Antigua. Maximon is on display at the Museum of Musical Instruments.