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Course Hero. "Popol Vuh Study Guide." August 23, 2019. Accessed September 18, 2019.


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Years Written






At a Glance

The Popol Vuh records the myth and history of the Quiché (modern spelling, K'iche') Mayan people up to the invasion and occupation of Mesoamerica by the Spanish in the 16th century. In the mythical sections, the actions of gods are used as an explanation for the nature of the world and its creatures, as well as the movements of the stars and planets. The historical sections detail the creation and expansion of the Mayans through the conquest and enslavement of other tribes. The anonymous authors composed the Popol Vuh in secret during the Spanish occupation. Just as the authors were acting to preserve a record of their culture and way of life, the English version of the book remains significant as a tool that provides an important counterpoint to Eurocentric views of Mesoamerican civilization.

Perspective and Narrator

Popol Vuh is narrated in the third person from the point of view of the anonymous authors.

About the Title

In Mayan languages, Popol Vuh means "Council Book." The reason for this title is that the Popol Vuh is said to contain the full and complete knowledge of the world possessed by the first created human beings. As such, after humans' abilities to know the world directly diminished, they needed to consult this book and those who studied it.


This study guide for Anonymous's Popol Vuh offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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