Popul Vuh

Chichicastenango Market | Popul Vuh

Chichicastenango Market | Popul Vuh

For most travelers to Guatemala the Chichi Market as it is called is a stopping point to enjoy the color and excitement of the Market on Thursdays and Sundays.

Most tourists fail to understand that Chichi is the home of Popul Vuh. Historical writing about the Mayan Underworld, Xibalba. This trail of Mayan history and culture directly relates to a term called breaking the Maya Code.

In the past dozen years, Maya decipherment has made great strides, in part due to the Internet, which has made possible the truly international scope of hieroglyphic scholarship: glyphic experts can be found not only in North America, Mexico, Guatemala, and Western Europe but also in Russia and the countries of Eastern Europe.

Popul Vuh

Two different ways of writing the word b’alam “jaguar” in the Maya script. First as logogram representing the entire word with the single glyph B’ALAM, then phonetically using the three syllable signs b’a, la, and ma.

Mayan writing consisted of a relatively elaborate set of glyphs, which were laboriously painted on ceramics, walls and bark-paper codices, carved in wood and stone, and molded in stucco. Carved and molded glyphs were painted, but the paint has rarely survived. In 2008, the sound of about 80% of Maya writing could be read and the meaning of about 60% could be understood with varying degrees of certainty, enough to give a comprehensive idea of its structure

Chichicastenango Story of Hunahpú and Xbalanqué in Popul Vuh

Tonsured Maize God and Spotted Hero Twin

Many versions of the legend of the Hero Twins Hunahpú and Xbalanqué circulated through the Mayan peoples[citation needed], but the story that survives was preserved by the Dominican priest Francisco Ximénez[3] who translated the document between 1700 and 1715.

Maya deities in the Post-Classic codices differ from the earlier versions described in the Early Classic period. In Mayan mythology Hunahpú and Xbalanqué are the second pair of twins out of three, preceded by Hun-Hunahpú and his brother Vucub-Hunahpú, and precursors to the third pair of twins, Hun Batz and Hun Chuen.

In the Popol Vuh, the first set of twins, Hun-Hunahpú and Vucub-Hanahpú were invited to the Mayan Underworld, Xibalba, to play a ballgame with the Xibalban lords. In the Underworld, the twins faced many trials filled with trickery; eventually they fail and are put to death.

The Hero Twins, Hunahpú and Xblanaqué, are magically conceived after the death of their father, Hun-Hunahpú, and in time they return to Xibalba to avenge the deaths of their father and uncle by defeating the Lords of the Underworld.

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