Maquech Brooch – Living Beetle Jewelry

In Mexico, you can buy and wear a living beetle brooch. Yes, the Maquech beetle is ‘bedazzled’ with gems and gold and is attached by a 2 inch chain with a pin at the end which fastens onto your shirt. The beetle can then freely crawl around but can never get away.

These bejeweled brooches are born from a centuries-old Mayan tradition of decorating wingless beetles from the Yucatan Peninsula. The story goes that when a Mayan princess was not permitted to marry her love, she stopped eating and drinking altogether. Seeing her plight, a medicine man transformed her into a Maquech beetle, so she could spend the rest of her life as a beautiful living brooch on the chest of her lover. There’s another version of the story where a Mayan soldier was turned into a Marquech so he can be with his forbidden lover.


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