Popol Vuh

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Popol Vuh

(pōpōl` vo͞o`) [Quiché,=collection of the council], sacred book of the QuichéQuiché
, indigenous peoples of Mayan linguistic stock, in the western highlands of Guatemala; most important group of the ancient southern Maya. The largest of the contemporary native groups of Guatemala, numbering over a million, they live principally in the region
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. The most important document of the cosmogony, religion, mythology, migratory traditions, and history of the Quiché, the original Popol Vuh was destroyed by the Spanish conquistador Pedro de Alvarado, but it was rewritten in Spanish by a converted Quiché shortly after the Spanish conquest. The language and literary style, the philosophy, and the life it reveals show the Quiché had reached a high degree of learning. A similar document, more historical in content and treating of the neighboring Cakchiquel, is the Annals of the Cakchiquel.


See the English version of the Popol Vuh by D. Goetz and S. C. Morley (1950); study by L. Spence (1908, repr. 1972).

References in periodicals archive ?
The early Colonial K'iche' Maya manuscript known as the Popol Wuj describes how the Hero Twins have to face particular ordeals in six houses in the underworld of Xib'alb'a (Christenson 2003: 160-74).
Thus, the so-called Twin Pyramid groups of Tikal, which are thought to be architectural cosmograms, include nine-doorwayed buildings on their south side (Ashmore 1991), and are perhaps emulating the series of horizontally arranged houses of the underworld known from the Popol Wuj.