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Popol Vuh

by Quiché Maya

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,602248,285 (3.79)19
Popol Vuh, the Quiché Mayan book of creation, is not only the most important text in the native languages of the Americas, it is also an extraordinary document of the human imagination. It begins with the deeds of Mayan gods in the darkness of a primeval sea and ends with the radiant splendor of the Mayan lords who founded the Quiché kingdom in the Guatemalan highlands. Originally written in Mayan hieroglyphs, it was transcribed into the Roman alphabet in the sixteenth century. This new edition of Dennis Tedlock's unabridged, widely praised translation includes new notes and commentary, newly translated passages, newly deciphered hieroglyphs, and over forty new illustrations.… (more)
  1. 00
    The Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Creation myths and pantheons
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» See also 19 mentions

English (17)  Spanish (5)  French (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (24)
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
scriptures of Mayan tribes
  ritaer | Jun 2, 2021 |
Both biblical and atmospheric verse in a great creation/origin story. I now get the references to Xibalba in Aronofsky's underappreciated film "The Fountain". ( )
  albertgoldfain | Jul 17, 2019 |
The Popol Vuh is a grand mytho-historical cycle, a reflection of an oral history, as told by the K’iche’, one branch of the Mayan peoples. The cycle starts with a creation myth and then continues with the Gods’ repeated failures to create humans, a series of Trickster Twins and their exploits among the Gods and in the underworld of Xibalba, the eventual creation of humans, and an increasingly historical listing of Mayan and allied communities and leaders, down to the eventual Conquest by the Spanish.

For anyone familiar with other grand mythological cycles (Greek, Norse, Hebrew), these stories follow a familiar pattern: a deep time that is highly allegorical and full of symbolism and larger-than-life heroes, and that becomes progressively anchored in history as the material approaches the present. As such the Popol Vuh reads like a distinctively Native-American variation on a familiar theme: a standardized history of the people, whose cultural practices have roots in deep time and the forces that shape the universe. Good stuff!

The edition I read was prepared and translated by Dennis Tedlock, and it is doubtlessly awe-inspiring. While the text is presented as a smooth, nicely-flowing narrative, the endnotes (whose pagecount surpasses that of the actual Popol Vuh) make apparent the translation difficulties and the cultural references, and provide insight in many of these items’ history in previous editions. Tedlock defends his editorial choices, compares editions and includes the necessary cultural background for an audience of laypeople and specialists. The whole thing must have been a massive undertaking, and Tedlock’s scrupulousness is admirable.

An exemplary edition of a fascinating cultural narrative belonging to a civilization now conquered and largely erased. ( )
  Petroglyph | Jan 2, 2019 |
1974
  AnomalyArchive | Aug 12, 2018 |
1969? Page 96 bookmarked with index card with handwritten note "little people 84," on reverse side printed "St. Mary's Hospital - Decatur, Illinois" etc.
  AnomalyArchive | Aug 12, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Quiché Mayaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Abreu Gómez, Ermilosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Abreu Gómez, Ermilosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Amberni, AnnyTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Asturias, Miguel ÁngelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Böckler, Carlos GuzmanPréfacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Baracs, Rodrigo Martínezsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bazzett, MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Castledine, David B.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chávez, Adrián I.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Christenson, Allen J.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Christenson, Allen J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Clémen, CarlosCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Codices MayasIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cordan, Wolfgangsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Díaz, Rafael RodríguezPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Faurie, ValérieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fowler, EdithDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Garrote, J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goetz, DeliaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goetz, DeliaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goetze, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gonzalez Suarez, Julian ElizamaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
González de Mendoza, J. M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guarchaj, RodrigoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jackson, Everett GeeIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Karttunen, Helinä.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kinzhalov, R. V.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maria, Carmelo Saenz de SantaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Meléndez, Gloria S.Traductor.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Michael, IbTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Monroy, Agustin EstradaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morley, Sylvanus G.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morley, Sylvanus G.Forewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morley, Sylvanus GriswoldTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nelson, RalphTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nelson, RalphIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pérez Rodríguez, Fernandosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ranta, UllaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Raynaud, GeorgesEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Recinos, AdrianTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Recinos, AdriánTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Recinos, Adriánsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Recinos, AdriánIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rodríguez Díaz, RafaelPr.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rugstad, ChristianTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Saravia E., AlbertinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Saravia, AlbertinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tedlock, DennisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tentori, Tizianosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tentori, TullioEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weil, Lucille KaufmanCompilersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Are 4u ua nuta4alibal, nupresenta
chiquiuach ri nantat, comon chuchkajauib
mu4hulic uleu, mu4hulic poklaj, mu4hulic bak.
Dedication
First words
The first four humans, the first four earthly beings who were truly articulate when they moved their feet and hands, their faces and mouths, and who could speak the very language of the gods, could also see everything under the sky and on the earth.
Quotations
He who makes an enemy of the Earth makes an enemy of his own body.
- (Preface: P.14)
Now it still ripples, now it still murmurs, ripples, it still sighs, still hums, and it is empty under the sky.
- (P.72)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Popol Vuh, the Quiché Mayan book of creation, is not only the most important text in the native languages of the Americas, it is also an extraordinary document of the human imagination. It begins with the deeds of Mayan gods in the darkness of a primeval sea and ends with the radiant splendor of the Mayan lords who founded the Quiché kingdom in the Guatemalan highlands. Originally written in Mayan hieroglyphs, it was transcribed into the Roman alphabet in the sixteenth century. This new edition of Dennis Tedlock's unabridged, widely praised translation includes new notes and commentary, newly translated passages, newly deciphered hieroglyphs, and over forty new illustrations.

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Haiku summary
The calabash fruit
Is not what it appears to be -
Hunaphu's skull-bone.
- (Michael.Rimmer)

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