Ancient Mythology

Popol Vuh

The Popol Vuh is a text of the myths of the Mayan peoples of the K'iche' Kingdom of Q'umarkaj, in what is now Guatemala.

The text of the Popol Vuh tells of the Mayan creation myth, followed by stories of a set of heroic twins, Hunahpu and Xbalanqué. The text ends with the mythical history of the K'iche' Kingdom itself, giving its rulers an association with the divine.

The oldest surviving Popol Vuh manuscript dates back to the 18th-century and was recorded by a Catholic priest, Francisco Ximénez. Although some believe that he recorded this manuscript himself from oral dictation, most scholars believe it was copied from a 16th-century script written by a member of the K'iche'.

The Popol Vuh serves as an important account of Mesoamerican mythology prior to Spanish conquest, since it is one of the few accounts of those myths that has survived.

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