72 pages 2 hours read


Popol Vuh

Nonfiction | Scripture | Adult | Published in 1554

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Section 2Chapter Summaries & Analyses

“The Deeds of Zipacna and the Four Hundred Boys” Summary

Zipacna is bathing on the riverbanks when four hundred boys pass by, lugging a tree to be used to fashion a lintel, or supporting beam, for their hut. When he asks them what they are doing, they reply that they are not strong enough to lift the tree to carry it. Zipacna offers to help, easily putting the tree over his shoulder and carrying it to their hut. The four hundred boys feel threatened by Zipacna’s strength and decide to kill Zipacna.

As part of the four hundred boys’ plan to kill Zipacna, they ask him to come help them carry more trees the next day. They plot to trick Zipacna into crawling into a deep hole. When Zipacna is far inside the hole, the boys will toss a tree down, crushing Zipacna’s body to death. Zipacna hears of this plan and decides to thwart it by crawling into the hole and creating a second one on the side, tucked away from the boys’ view. Thinking Zipacna is deep into the hole, where they want him, the boys throw a tree down. Zipacna pretends to cry out in pain, leading the boys to believe that they have successfully injured him.