Mesoamerican and South American Mythologies: Maya, Aztec, Inca

The Maya and the Popol Vuh

What is the Popol Vuh?

What we know of the mythology of the Maya comes from a kind of hieroglyphic writing carved into stone monuments and codices (books written on bark paper) by the Maya themselves, and from books by the colonial Spanish. The most important of the Spanish sources is the mid-sixteenth-century Popol Vuh (“Book of the People”). The mythology it contains is specifically that of the Quiché Maya of Guatemala. The Popol Vuh was written in the Quiché Maya dialect, but in Latin script. It was transcribed and translated into Spanish in 1700 by a Spanish Dominican friar, Francisco Ximenez.


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