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Popol Vuh

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  3,243 Ratings  ·  198 Reviews
Popol Vuh, the Quiché Mayan book of creation, isn't only the most important text in the native languages of the Americas, it's also an extraordinary document of the human imagination. It begins with the deeds of Mayan gods in the darkness of a primeval sea & ends with the radiant splendor of the Mayan lords who founded the Quiché kingdom in the Guatemalan highlands. Or ...more
Paperback, 388 pages
Published January 31st 1996 by Touchstone/Simon & Schuster (NY et al.) (first published 1715)
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Popol Vuh by AnonymousBreaking the Maya Code by Michael D. CoeThe Maya by Michael D. CoeAn Illustrated Dictionary of the Gods and Symbols of Ancient ... by Mary Ellen MillerThe Aztecs by Richard F. Townsend
92 books — 32 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jan 22, 2008 Lily added it
Can you really rate something like the Popol Vuh?
Feb 14, 2014 Balam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was taking aback by the amount of bad reviews the kiddies are giving this awesome book. Even as a kid myself I loved the stories and the characters. It transported me to a world full of heroes, powerful lords, Kings, and princesses. As an adult I could see the spirituality behind it. The beauty in the simplicity of the text, and the stories of how humans came into being according to Mayan mythology.

Joseph Campbell, in his "Hero's Journey" draws parallels between the Twin brothers Hun Ah'pu an
Sep 04, 2011 Jeremy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Allen J. Christenson has given us a brilliant translation (packed with very helpful notes) of the Popol Vuh, the Sacred Book of the Quiché Maya, the "book that pertains to the mat." The "mat" is the royal throne upon which the king gave counsel to his people, with the fibers symbolizing the interlaced community remembered in the text.

This is a personal book for me, because if family legend is to be believed, the distant ancestors of my Ecuadorian relatives might have come through the area of Gua
Marlen Leiva
Apr 20, 2017 Marlen Leiva rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
Me ha parecido muy interesante, la visión que tenían los pueblos hispanoamericanos, acerca de la creación del universo, y como algunas partes tienen similitud con la visión cristiana.
La única parte que me ha parecido un poco difícil de leer es la parte de la creación de las tribus.
Recomiendo esta lectura porque es importante y esencial conocer nuestra cultura prehispánica.
Jul 22, 2011 Tom rated it really liked it
I re-read this book with a writing group and still find it amazing. The hero twins on the road to Xibalba. It is a dark creation myth that partially follows Joseph Campbell's heroic journey, but there are corners of Mayan consciousness that remain impenetrable. It presents a fascinating world laden with imagery and symbolism that defy our comprehension. What a shame that this world was virtually destroyed first by European viruses and later by European arrogance in the guise of Christianity and ...more
Quentin Crisp
I realised, looking at this book today, that I'd finished it and not made a record of my having done so, therefore I don't know on what day I finished it, and will simply record it as today's date.

The edition I read (in case this review shows up under different editions), is that of Lewis Spence, published by The Book Tree. A warning for those looking for a definitive edition of the text: this isn't it, being not a translation, as such, but more a summary of the text with background cultural and
Mercurio Cadena
A very interesting cosmogony. There are some common points with Christianity, such as a virgin who gets pregnant by Spirits, and the fact that men were created from mud (yet, in the maya myth, this was just the first attempt from the gods to create mankind, which ended, by the way, as a failed attempt. Their final creation was made from corn).

A must in cosmogony.
Barbara Bradley
Aug 13, 2014 Barbara Bradley rated it it was amazing
I had the good fortune of reading the "Popol Vuh" under the tutelage of Dennis himself, and there really is no way to describe the detail and the power of the text. I highly recommend to pay special attention to every single symbol, every picture in the book (no matter how small or minor) because each one bears an important insight into the Mayan culture. For example, on page 107 there is a picture of a dancing monkey with quill pins bunched atop his head. The Maya consider monkeys to be their p ...more
Dario Alioscha
Aug 29, 2012 Dario Alioscha rated it it was amazing
Es muy importante conocer nuestra cosmogonía, la mitología maya. Como pensaban nuestros origen y argumentación en este mundo para justificarlo. Los relatos son originales, auténticos. El hombre hecho de maíz, los gemelos que derrotan a los señores del Xibalba, la visión de la naturaleza donde los animales jugaban diferentes roles en las culturas precolombinas, que van desde, las hormigas que roban las flores sagradas, El hombre jaguar, y todo esto que tiene un misticismo lleno de magia, impregna ...more
Jul 18, 2013 Caro rated it really liked it
Había leído este libro hace 3 años, e ignorando mucho del contexto histórico que aprendí posteriormente en los libros de Graham Hancock, le di una calificación muy pobre (una estrella). Ahora, con cierta noción histórica y la mente mucho más abierta, lo volví a leer y pude comprender el valor de estos relatos.
Aug 27, 2016 Gabriel rated it liked it
Otra versión de la creación del mundo. Historias muy crudas en donde se dejan ver los rituales, la estructura de sociedad y la guerra por el poder de esta cultura Maya. La adoración a sus dioses y las fábulas son verdaderamente hermosas. Esta puede ser la historia verídica del origen de la vida, aunque quién sabe. Nadie sabe nada.
Michael Justine
Jan 24, 2016 Michael Justine rated it did not like it
I can summarize my reading experience of this book for my world literature class in one word: boring.
Bryn Donovan
Oct 15, 2013 Bryn Donovan rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I guess most ancient mythologies are crazypants, and this one seems even more so because the culture is so unfamiliar. So things happen like: a guy gets killed and they bury his skull, and a calabash tree grows up from the skull but one of the calabashes is actually this guy's head, and a lady comes by and this head spits into her hand and she gets pregnant with twins. It's pretty amazing.

The creation of humans in this book begins with a few failed attempts, which wind up being monkeys and othe
Jun 20, 2014 Bbrown rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Popol Vuh-
The Mayan creation myths are not just entertaining to read, but provide a fascinating look at Mayan culture and history as well, through the dimly remembered prehistory of the people up until their conquest by the Spanish. Popol Vuh doesn’t merely sketch out a story of creation that occurred in the distant past, it links that creation all the way through the time of the European invasion of the Americas and the effective end of Mayan supremacy; it’s as if the Prose and Poetic Eddas we
Natasha P.
Jan 21, 2016 Natasha P. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: al-tacto
Es sorprendente lo semejante que puede llegar a ser el popol vuh en ciertas partes... "Se convirtieron en seres terribles y sin almas, y por eso hubo un diluvio universal, para exterminar al hombre de madera"... ¿les recuerda algo? ¿La biblia? tal vez, bueno, a mi eso no me pareció coincidencia. Cuando los mares se separaron y los habitantes quichés pasaron entre ellos, eso no puede ser otra simple casualidad.

Ahora como es posible que poblaciones tan separadas e ideologías tan distantes tengan t
Jan 30, 2010 Gawain rated it really liked it
The "Mayan Bible", or more accurately the Quiché Bible. Absent a law code, it is divided into two parts, a Genesis, and a Chronicle of kings. But what I find remarkable is that the stories of the "Genesis" section are not myths in the Western sense -- stories rooted in psychology. Rather they are stories rooted in _astronomy_. It is believed that the Popol Vuh would have represented an interpretation of a hidden book, and that this hidden book would have in fact been a complex astronomical chart ...more
Jan 07, 2013 Kerim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Refreshing and engaging look at one of the best preserved accounts of the earliest complete work of literature as recorded from oral tradition, allowing a spectacular look into the cosmological, social, and lingual mind of the ancient Maya. Don't just read a bunch of misinformed misinterpretations of their calendar by whichever "expert" thinks whatever new disaster will happen this year, and because the often dry thick archaeological literature that I read as an archaeology masters student is no ...more
Cristina López
Jun 20, 2009 Cristina López rated it it was amazing
Are uxe‘ ojer tzij
waral K‘iche‘ ub‘i‘.
xchiqatz‘ib‘aj wi
xchiqatikib‘a‘ wi ojer tzij,
uxe‘nab‘al puch rnojel xb‘an pa
tinamit K‘iche‘
ramaq‘ K‘iche‘ winaq. "This is the root of the ancient word
of this place called Quiché.
we shall write,
we shall plant the ancient word,
the origin
the beginning of all what has been done in the
Quiché Nation
country of the Quiché people."
Leah Ixchel
Nov 21, 2010 Leah Ixchel rated it it was amazing
I am of full Mayan decent but have never got a true understanding of any sort of the culture since I'm adopted and no longer reside in my hometown back in Guatemala. This book was just what I needed to begin my journey in learning about the culture I had lost. I loved Popul Vuh but found the English version dreadful compared to the Spanish version, so I wouldn't reccomend the English translation.
David Boubion
It seems to have some characteristics and similarities to the Catholic bible! One example is the creation of the earth in seven days. Overall, a really great read for anyone who is interested or fascinated by Mayan or any mesoamerican civilization's history and ideologies.
Erin Fanning
Jan 26, 2015 Erin Fanning rated it really liked it
Highly recommended for anyone with an interest in mythology or Mesoamerican literature.
Dante Zayas
Mar 06, 2014 Dante Zayas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mayra P.
Aug 20, 2014 Mayra P. rated it really liked it
Me gustó mucho, es muy curiosa la idelogía.
Lourdes Gamez castillo
Jul 07, 2015 Lourdes Gamez castillo rated it it was amazing
I love this book, it`s the story of the Mayas. And its caind of Genesis ...more
Jan 29, 2016 mwr rated it really liked it
Shelves: mythos, 33-34, belize, mayan
There is some really good stuff here.
Feb 12, 2012 Antony rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
uhg.. just ugh!.. i need to come up with more words for this but its like 12 in the morning .. so it wasnt that good of a book:S ...more
Jan 28, 2013 Kyle rated it it was amazing
Of all the creation and hero myths in the world, this one has to be one of the most woefully neglected.
Mar 04, 2014 Alhena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
me encanto...conocer la idieología de los mayas en la historia de la creación del mundo, su mundo, es fantástica.
I have long loved the myth itself but this edition has given me so many more layers to understand it. This is so so so good.
Robert Sheppard

The "Popul Vuh" is one of the very few remaining books of the ancient Mayan culture that escaped destruction in the collapse of indigenous cultures in the wake of the Spanish Conquest and Christianization of the peoples inhabiting Latin America before Columbus. As such it is of great interest to us as a "Window on t
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Goodreads Librari...: Update info Popol Vuh 2 16 Sep 07, 2015 09:11PM  
Green Hilton hamilton 1 7 May 01, 2013 04:25AM  
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Books can be attributed to "Anonymous" for several reasons:

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“The first men to be created and formed were called the Sorcerer of Fatal Laughter, the Sorcerer of Night, Unkempt, and the Black Sorcerer … They were endowed with intelligence, they succeeded in knowing all that there is in the world. When they looked, instantly they saw all that is around them, and they contemplated in turn the arc of heaven and the round face of the earth … [Then the Creator said]: 'They know all … what shall we do with them now? Let their sight reach only to that which is near; let them see only a little of the face of the earth!… Are they not by nature simple creatures of our making? Must they also be gods?” 400 likes
“THIS IS THE ACCOUNT of when all is still silent and placid. All is silent and calm. Hushed and empty is the womb of the sky. THESE, then, are the first words, the first speech. There is not yet one person, one animal, bird, fish, crab, tree, rock, hollow, canyon, meadow, or forest. All alone the sky exists. The face of the earth has not yet appeared.” 3 likes
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