Live Insect as a Fashion Accessory

A large beetles called the Makech (Zopherus chilensis) is sometimes worn as jewelry in the Yucatan region of Mexico where it thrives. People attach gems and chains to its shell in order to wear it as a necklace. They are kept as pets when not being worn.  

According to legend, a Maya princess from long ago was destined to marry the prince of a neighboring kingdom, but instead she fell in love with a noble warrior from her village. Enraged, her father announced his intention to kill the warrior. Fear-stricken, the princess pleaded for the young man’s life. If he were spared, she promised to willingly marry the prince as had been planned.

The king listened to his sobbing daughter and consoled her. “Don’t worry, your handsome warrior shall live”. And he kept his word… in a way. A practitioner of the dark arts was called in, and turned the warrior into a beetle. The horrified princess scooped up her beloved and carried him to her room. She adorned him with the most beautiful jewels she could find and placed him on her breast, so he would always be near her heart.

I don’t know …the place where a necklace pendant falls is not where I want to feel an insect crawling around on me. Mike Powell and Juergen Horn visited a shop where Makech are sold. See more pictures and a video of some of these decorated bugs in action at Yucatan for 91 Days.


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