72 pages 2 hours read


Popol Vuh

Nonfiction | Scripture | Adult | Published in 1554

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Section 4Chapter Summaries & Analyses

“The Maiden Lady Blood and the Tree of One Hunahpu” Summary

One day, the maiden daughter of the lord named Gathered Blood in Xibalba hears of the tale of One Hunahpu’s head bearing fruit in a tree. Intrigued, she sets off to find the tree at Crushing Ballcourt and immediately desires fruit from it. As One Hunahpu’s head has become indistinguishable from the fruit, Lady Blood’s desire extends to her desire for his head. In the tree, One Hunahpu hears her desire for him. He insists, “You do not desire it” (116), pointing out that a head in a tree is not something one ordinarily covets. Nevertheless, the maiden insists that she does indeed desire to know such fruit.

With Heart of Sky’s coaxing, One Hunahpu’s head relents and tells the maiden to stretch out her hand. She extends her right hand to the head and receives One Hunahpu’s saliva. One Hunahpu’s head explains that the head of a lord is not useful without the rest of his body. Therefore, he offers his spit to her so that it will impregnate her. She will bear his children as a way of continuing his legacy. Her children will one day be Hunahpu and Xbalanque. Lastly, he tells her to go up to the earth from the underworld and promises her that she will be safe.