Colors of Pasaquan
Eddie Owens Martin
The Magic Bus
Your Tour Guides
The Colors of
Situated on a remote,
pine-shrouded ridge a few miles outside
the little town of Buena Vista, Ga.,
Pasaquan is not an easy place to find.
There's no mistaking it for anyplace else,
though. It is a wild and dazzling patch of
living, local hyper-technicolor, and
seeing it for the first time is a
mind-stretching experience indeed. It was
created by one Eddie Owens Martin (a.k.a.
"Saint EOM" -- the "E" is silent, so it's
pronounced like the ancient Eastern chant
Om, or the unit of electrical resistance,
One day more than 50 years ago Martin
heard a voice, from "the spirit world,"
and that voice told him, "You're gonna' be
the start of somethin' new, and you're
gonna be called a Pasaquoyan, and your
name will be Saint EOM."
heard that voice a long time before I knew
any Spanish," St. EOM explained, "but
later I found out that pasa
means 'pass' in Spanish. And I found out
that a quan
is an Oriental word that means bringin'
the past and the future together, so you
can derive the benefits of the past by
bringin' it into the future. And so I call
myself a Pasaquoyan, and this place is
called Pasaquan, where the past and the
present and the future and everything else
Pasaquan, St. EOM's
psychedelic Assisi in the Southern pines,
is a subtly balanced, garishly harmonious
architectural compound which seems to have
been built for the elaborate rituals of
some long-vanished cult. Its temples,
pagodas, shrines, altars, walls and
walkways are embellished with
cement-sculpted totem faces larger than
life, swirling mandalas and occult-looking
symbology, giant undulating snakes and
Polynesian-like male and female figures in
a variety of poses.
All of this is painted in the brightest
shades of Sherwin-Williams that St. EOM
could find in the local hardware store.
Set on four acres and surrounded by miles
of sparsely-populated, low-lying hill
country, Pasaquan is carefully landscaped
and strategically planted with thickets of
tall bamboo and ribbon cane, which enhance
the Oriental ambience while concealing the
place from view of the pulpwood trucks,
pickups and occasional cars that pass by
on the blacktop country road.
EOM said that in building it he was
influenced by the ruined temple complexes
of Pre-Columbian Mexico and his notion of
what the civilizations on the fabled lost
continents of Mu and Atlantis might have
looked like. In some of its aspects
Pasaquan calls to mind African sculpture
and the statuary on Easter Island. And
with its bold designs and flamboyant
colors it also has the immediate impact of
a carnival sideshow.
Whatever the architect's intentions, the
overall effect is that of a scaled-down
Angkor Wat or Oz or Chichen Itza in some
crazed 3-D cartoon, and it has left many a
first-time visitor open-mouthed and
speechless for long stretches of a morning
or an afternoon.
from Tom Patterson's book,
EOM in the Land of the Pasaquan
(1987, The Jargon Society).