72 pages 2 hours read


Popol Vuh

Nonfiction | Scripture | Adult | Published in 1554

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Important Quotes

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“This account we shall now write under the law of God and Christianity. We shall bring it forth because there is no longer the means whereby the Popol Vuh may be seen, the means of seeing clearly that had come from across the sea—the account of our obscurity, and the means of seeing life clearly, as it is said.” 

(Preamble , Page 55)

This account in the preamble of the Popol Vuh indicates the arrival of Spanish-Christian missionary presence in Latin America, which has led to destruction of many Quiché texts. To ensure political and social dominance over the Quiché people, the Spanish eradicated much of Quiché writing and religious practices. As a result, original Quiché texts such as the Popol Vuh were destroyed, leaving only the translation of the book in its Latin script by Father Ximénez as the original template for which future translations would be based. Thus, when the original authors foretell that “there is no longer the means whereby the Popol Vuh may be seen,” they predict the further eradication of Quiché literature and the loss of these texts in their original language. The Popol Vuh may never truly be seen in entirety, as it has been compromised by the coercive forces of Spanish Christianity.

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“Then the earth was created by them. Merely their word brought about the creation of it.” 

(“The Creation of the Earth”, Page 61)

The connection between creation and language is evident from the very beginning of the Popol Vuh. In this excerpt, Heart of Sky joins with Sovereign and Quetzal Serpent to create the earth after other deities have framed and shaped it. To create the earth, they merely speak the word for it, “Earth,” conjuring a mist.