Books MesoAmericas

The Book of the People: Popol Vuh

This book is now available in MesoAmericas.com Book Collection. To visit and read go to: http://www.mesoamericas.com/books/PolopVuh001.php

This book, written shortly after the Spanish Conquest by a Quiché Indian who had learned to read and write Spanish, is generally known as the Popol Vuh, Popol Buj, Book of the Council, Book of the Community, the Sacred Book, or National Book of the Quiché, and it contains the cosmogonical concepts and ancient traditions of this aboriginal American people, the history of their origin, and the chronology of their kings down to the year 1550.

The name of its author and the fate of his original manuscript, which remained hidden for more than 150 years, are unknown. Father Ximénez, who found it in his parish at Santo Tomás Chichicastenango, transcribed the original Quiché text and translated it into Spanish under the title Historias del origen de los Indios de esta Provincia de Guatemala. This transcription, in the handwriting of this priest-historian, is still preserved; but no information has survived concerning the original document written in the Quiché tongue.

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