Popol Vuh

The Popol Vuh is the Mayan account of the creation of the earth and man.  A long oral epic, probably first written in Mayan pictographs centuries ago, the epic disappeared during the Spanish conquest of Central America.  The Spanish, as Christians, burned all Mayan books that they could find.  In the late sixteenth century, an unknown Mayan transcribed the Popol Vuh into the Quiché language.  Then, about two centuries later, a local priest, Father Francisco Ximenez, found that transcription in his church in Chichicastenango, Guatemala.  Again, there was a time lapse as the translation done by Father Ximenez into Spanish was lost--it is now in the Newberry Library in Chicago.

There is a translation of the Popol Vuh, the sacred book of the Quiché who inhabited Central America in the area of present-day Guatemala in the fifteenth century, available here.

Sometimes that link doesn't work.  In that case, you might have to search elsewhere for information about the Popol Vuh, starting with Wikipedia, the Ancient History Encyclopedia or Popol Vuh (translation and commentary by Allen J. Christenson).

There is a new website, sponsored by Ohio State University, with versions of the PV in three different languages.


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For information contact cevans@nvcc.edu