|The volunteers during the tour through UFM’s Popol Vuh Museum|
With a tour through the Popol Vuh Museum, of Universidad Francisco Marroquín, the team of volunteers who collaborate in this museum celebrated the declaration of the Popol Vuh as Guatemala’s National Book, since 1972.
The celebration consisted in a guided visit done last May 30th of 2007. During the same one, the archaeologist and volunteer, Victor Castillo, related different objects from the Museum’s collection to stories in the Popol Vuh, and added data on the vision of the universe that ancient Mayans had and the oral tradition that is kept in some parts of the country.
The Popol Vuh Museum takes its name from the
Popol Vuh, one of the most important texts of the indigenous Literature of the New World. Written in the western plateau of Guatemala towards 1550, the Popol Vuh reunites a set of myths and historical tales of great importance for the study of the indigenous towns of Guatemala. The names of their authors are not known, but there are indications that it was written by prominent members of the nobility of the Quiche’ kingdom, who dominated an extensive region of the Guatemalan plateau at the time of the Spanish conquest. Written in a careful poetic style, it is also a skillful work in literary terms.
The Popol Vuh displays a mythological version of the creation of the world, followed by a story of the adventures of the twin Gods, Hunahpú and Xbalanqué, in fundamental times, previous to the creation of the human being. The triumphs of the heroes against the fundamental forces and the Gods of the dead give rise to the creation of man from corn. The second part of the text concentrates in the origins of the governing lineages of the Quiche’ kingdom, their migration towards the plateau of Guatemala, the conquest of its territory, the establishment of its main city and history of its kings until the Spanish conquest.