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Popol Vuh


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Part One

This is the beginning of the Ancient Word

This is the account

Now they planned the animals of the mountains

And then the deer and birds were told

Again there comes an experiment with the human work

Then comes the naming of those who are the midmost seers

Again there comes a humiliation

This was when there was just a trace of early dawn

Part Two

Here is the beginning of the defeat and destruction of the day of Seven Macaw

And here is the shooting of Seven Macaw by the two boys

And here are the deeds of Zipacna

Now this is the defeat and death of Zipacna

And the third to magnify himself is the second son of Seven Macaw, named Earthquake

Part Three

And now we shall name the name of the father of Hunahpu and Xbalanque

And these are the lords over everything

And now for the messengers of One and Seven Death

After that One and Seven Hunahpu left

And One and Seven Hunahpu went inside Dark House

And here is the account of a maiden

And after the maiden was noticed by her father

And when Blood Moon came to the mother of One Monkey and One Artisan

And this is their birth; we shall tell of it here

And then they sang, they played, they drummed

And now they began to act out their self-revelation

So now there was fire in their hearts

Happy now, they went to play ball at the court

They went down to Xibalba

First they entered Dark House

And after that, the boys next entered Razor House

And now they entered Cold House

So next they entered Jaguar House

So next they entered the midst of the fire

Now they were put inside Bat House

And here it is: the epitaph, the death of Hunahpu and Xbalanque

This is the making of the oven

And on the fifth day they reappeared

And they came to the lords

And this is the sacrifice of little Hunahpu by Xbalanque

And then they named their names

And this is their grandmother, crying and calling out in front of the ears of green corn

And here their father is put back together by them

Part Four

And here is the beginning of the conception of humans

These are the names of the first people who were made and modeled

And then their wives and women came into being

And this is our root, we who are the Quiche people

And this is the name of the mountain where they went

They walked in crowds when they arrived at Tulan, and there was no fire

When they came away from Tulan Zuyua

And then they came away, just camping on the road

And then Tohil, along with Auilix and Hacauitz, spoke to them

And here is the dawning and showing of the sun, moon, and stars

parAnd there began their song named "Camacu"

And here they burn their copal

And then comes the killing of the tribes

First the tribes tried to plan the defeat of Tohil, Auilix, and Hacauitz

And they sent the two of them, named Lust Woman and Wailing Woman

And here is the joining together of all the tribes

And then Jaguar Quitze, Jaguar Night, Not Right Now, and Dark Jaguar had a plan

And these are the ones who were there: Jaguar Quitze, Jaguar Night, Not Right Now, and Dark Jaguar

Now this is where we shall tell about the death of Jaguar Quitze, Jaguar Night, Not Right Now, and Dark Jaguar

Part Five

And then they remembered what had been said about the east

And then they came before the lord named Nacxit

And then they came to a place where they founded a citadel named Thorny Place

And Bearded Place is the name of the mountain of their citadel

And then they got up and came to the citadel of Rotten Cane

And here are the titles of the lords who led the Cauecs

And now these are the lords who led the Greathouses

And now these are the Lord Quiches

And there were also two lineages of Zaquic lords

Then splendor and majesty grew among the Quiche

And here are the names of the sixth generation of lords

After that came the sentries

And now we shall name the names of the houses of the gods

And this is the cry of their hearts

And here are the generations, the sequences of lordships

And here shall appear the faces, one by one, of each of the Quiche lords

And here are those of the Greathouses

And now these are for the Lord Quiches

And there are three Masters of Ceremonies in all

This is enough about the being of Quiche

Notes and Comments



Mayan Poetics

The Mayan Calendar

Notes and Comments




About the Author

Dennis Tedlock is McNulty Professor of English and Research Professor of Anthropology at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He is the coeditor of American Anthropologist and the author of several books.


"Popol Vuh is one of the great books about the creation of the world. It is the Mayan Bible." -Carlos Fuentes
"The volume is required reading for everyone seriously interested in Native American literature or in Meso-American cultural history. Its publication is a major event." -The Los Angeles Times
"Dennis Tedlock's splendid version...[is] the work of a brilliant anthropologist who is also a true 'poet of performance,' himself trained by a native Quiche master....Superb notes and glossary...An event of quite exceptional importance." -William Arrowsmith, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Classics and Comparative Literature, Emory University
"Tedlock's translation is sensitive, precise, and illuminating. It will greatly help the Popol Vuh achieve its rightful place as a masterpiece of religious writing, familiar to all those who seek a message that transcends ordinary concerns." -Vine Deloria, Jr., author of Custer Died for Your Sins

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