Popol Vuh

Topics: First World, Fourth World, Second World Pages: 10 (1770 words) Published: December 22, 2008
“Yea, pleasing is the day you, Huracan, and you, Heart of Sky and Earth, and you

who give abundance and new life, and you who give daughters and sons. Be at peace,

scatter your abundance and new life. May life and creation be given. May my

daughters and my sons be multiplied and created, that they may provide for you,

sustain you, and call upon you on the roads, on the cleared pathways, along the

courses of the rivers, in the canyons, beneath the trees and the bushes. Give, then,

their daughters and their sons” (289).

This passage comes from the Popol Vuh which is the great classic Mayan text

of spirituality and creation of the world. In many ways the Popol Vuh is like the Bible.

The Bible is teachings of Christianity and how the world and people where created.

Popol Vuh is more of a story telling setting that shares the accounts of how the world

was first created and who created it. The whole book is about the relationshipsbetween

the humans and the Gods. This passage is an example about the relationship between

the humans and the Gods. The Lords are saying a prayer to the Gods in this passage.

It can be interpreted in both a general, and a specific way.

In the Popol Vuh, there are three worlds that the Gods create before creating the

fourth world which we are in now. The first version of humans were animals. They

could not sing the Gods their praises and therefore that world did not succeed. Then

there was the mud people which was the second world. In relation to our history the

mud people can be represented as the Prehistoric man. The mud people washed away

when it rained so the Gods had to create another version. Thus came the wood people.

The wood people can be represented as early civilization in our history. The wood

people did not have souls or hearts and could not worship the Gods as they had

wanted. That was the third attempt at the creation of humans that failed. The fourth

creation or world is called the men of maize or people of corn.

The Gods created four people, “These are the names of the first people who were framed and shaped: the first person was Balam Quitze, the second was Balam

Acab, the third was Mahucutah, and the fourth was Iqui Balam. These, then, where the

names of our first mothers and fathers. In most literal sense, b’alam means ‘jaguar;’

however when used as a title, it carries with it a host of implicit meanings. Because the

nature of the jaguar as the largest and fiercest animal...is used to refer to anything

powerful or mighty” (196). The Gods went through various kinds of humans before

creating “the right kinds.” They wanted the humans to worship them and sing their


As I have stated before, this passage is about the Lords prayer to the Gods. The

Lords can be the first four people, whom each found their own nation, or an elder within

the nation that is now considered a lord. After analyzing the Gods in this passage as it

is stated “...you, Huracan, and you, Heart of Sky and Earth, you who give abundance

and new life. And you who give daughters and sons...”(289) there is question of “how

many gods are there?”

Throughout the Popol Vuh many Gods are mentioned that have many different

names. For example, Huracan has a series of different names in the Popol Vuh. “...by

Heart of Sky, who is called Huracan. First is Thunderbolt Huracan, second is Youngest

Thunderbolt, and third is Sudden Thunderbolt. These three together are Heart of

Sky” (70). In the passage, the second God that is mentioned is Heart of Sky and Earth

after Huracan so it is very confusing. The text is very unclear as to how many Gods

there are and if one God just has many names. Another example of that is “..it is good

that you have come, Heart of Sky--you, Huracan, and you as well, Youngest...
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