Popol Vuh Summary

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When the Spanish came to the new world, they discovered a civilization that has been around for thousands of years. A civilization with knowledge of astronomy and mathematics, intricate architecture, and a puzzling religion which included violent rituals. Although most Mayan books were burned, and with them much of our knowledge of the ancient civilization, the rediscovery of the Mayans has started, and we are discovering more and more about their life in America, and about their religion. Astronomy and knowledge of the cosmos held a lot of importance for the Mayan scientists. It represented order, with the cosmos, the living world, and the gods. In astronomy was an attempt to capture the essence of time and space, which is shown through their…show more content…
It was stated that this book was the Mayan “Bible”, which helped us understand their world view. “Here is the story of the beginning when there was not one bird, not one fish, not one mountain. Here is the sky, all alone. Here is the sea, all alone. There is nothing more-no sound, no movement. Only the Creators, only Heart-of-sky, Huràcan alone” . This passage from the Popul Vuh describes the beginning of time, in ways similar to our bible, where it all started from nothing. There were three gods of creation, which were Calcuhà-Huracàn, Chipi-Huracàn, and Raxà-Caculhà. Together they formed the Heart of Sky, and they brought forth the Earth. The universe was divided into the 13 layers of heaven, and 9 layers of the underworld, ruled by Xibalbà. The upper and the lower worlds were united by the green Ceiba Tree that represented the Earth. To the Maya people, trees were the living environment, and from what they would fashion homes, tools, foods, medicine, dyes, and other commodities such as chocolate and paper. The importance of trees in their lives is why they would choose it as a symbol for human power in their myth. In the creation of the world, four trees of abundance were set up, the white tree in the north, the black tree in the west, the yellow tree in the south, the…show more content…
In the Popol Vuh, The maize god Hun Hunapuh, father of the hero twins, visits the underworld, and is defeated in the ball game, and sacrificed. One of the daughters of the Underworld lords was passing under the tree where the Maize god was sacrificed, and was magically impregnated with the Hero Twins, Hunahpu and Xbalanque. They defeated many monsters, such as the “Seven Macaw”, mentioned earlier as the god who ruled before human times. Their final goal was to defeat the Lord of the Underworld Xibalba. He called upon the Hero Twins, after hearing word of them. They managed to trick and defeat Xibalba in the ball game, but finally ended up being killed. They were honored however by the upper world gods, and brought back to life as rulers of earth. Together they brought back their father Hun Hunahpu, the Maize god, one of the most important figures of divinity for the Maya, and together they brought life to Earth . Ball courts were built in every town, and the games were played in their honor. The game itself represented good and evil, death and rebirth, as well as the cyclic journeys of the sun and the moon in the sky. The game made them remember the Myth of Creation, the story which brought them to the world, and it plays part in the balance of the universe, creating a link between the earth and the underworld. The Popol Vuh, among other murals, books and inscriptions, underlines this

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