72 pages 2 hours read


Popol Vuh

Nonfiction | Scripture | Adult | Published in 1554

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Section 6Chapter Summaries & Analyses

“The Descent of Hunahpu and Xbalanque into Xibalba” Summary

Before Hunahpu and Xbalanque leave for Xibalba, they advise Xmucane to plant a single maize stalk for each of them in the house. If the maize stalks dry up, this means that they have died in Xibalba. If the maize stalks thrive, then Xmucane would know that they are alive.

In Xibalba, Hunahpu and Xbalanque endure the same trials as their father, One Hunahpu. They pass through Pus River and Blood River without any trouble. When they arrive at the crossroad that forks out into the Black Road, the White Road, the Red Road, and the Blue/Green Road, the brothers concoct a plan to outwit the lords of Xibalba who surely have more traps waiting for them. Hunahpu pulls a hair from his knee and enchants it into a mosquito. He instructs it to bite everyone who lies beyond the Black Road so that they will learn the true identities of the Xibalbans. When the mosquito bites the effigies, they do not respond as they do not have blood in their bodies. The mosquito bites One Death, who cries out in pain. One of the lords calls out One Death’s name,out of concern.