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POPOL VUH Translated by Allen Christenson* PREAMBLE THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF THE ANCIENT TRADITIONS of this place called Quiché. Here we shall gather the manifestation, the declaration, the account of the sowing and the dawning by the Framer and the Shaper , She Who Has Borne Children and He Who Has Begotten Sons , as they are called; along with Hunahpu Possum and Hunahpu Coyote, Great White Peccary and Coati , 1 Sovereign and Quetzal Serpent , Heart of Lake and Heart of Sea, Creator of the Green Earth and Creator of the Blue Sky , as they are called. … Great is its performance and its account of the completion and germination of all the sky and earth—its four corners and its four sides. All then was measured and staked out into four divisions, doubling over and stretching the measuring cords of the womb of sky and the womb of earth. 2 THE PRIMORDIAL WORLD …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. Alone lies the expanse of the sea, along with the womb of all the sky. There is not yet anything gathered together. All is at rest. Nothing stirs. All is languid, at rest in the sky. There is not yet anything standing erect. Only the expanse of the water, only the tranquil sea lies alone. There is not yet anything that might exist. All lies placid and silent in the darkness, in the night. All alone are the Framer and the Shaper, Sovereign and Quetzal Serpent, They Who Have Borne Children and They Who Have Begotten Sons. Luminous they are in the water, wrapped in quetzal feathers and cotinga feathers. Thus they are called Quetzal Serpent. In their essence, they are great sages, great possessors of knowledge. … There is also Heart of Sky , … . THE CREATION OF THE EARTH ( First Creation ) THEN came his word. Heart of Sky arrived here with Sovereign and Quetzal Serpent in the darkness, in the night. He spoke with Sovereign and Quetzal Serpent. … Beneath the light, they gave birth to humanity. Then they arranged for the germination and creation (“ peopling ”) of the trees and the bushes, the germination of all life and creation, in the darkness and in the night, by Heart of Sky , who is called Huracan (“ one leg ”). … Then the earth was created by them. Merely their word brought about the creation of it. In order to create the earth, they said, “Earth,” and immediately it was created. Just like a cloud, like a mist, was the creation and formation of it. Then they called forth the mountains from the water. Straightaway the great mountains came to be. … Straightaway were created cypress groves and pine forests to cover the face of the earth.… First the earth was created, the mountains and the valleys. … Thus the waters were divided, revealing the great mountains. For thus was the creation of the earth, created then by Heart of Sky and Heart of
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