Symbolism In The Popol Vuh

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Words can be on a much grander scale. The Popol Vuh is a story originating from modern day Guatemala with its oldest excerpt dating back to the early 18th century. The most recent translation is by Allen J. Christenson in 2007. The Popol Vuh follows the Hero Twins Hunahpu and Xbalanque and their epic tales. The mythological story ripe with symbolism is often coined as the “sacred book” of the Maya people. Symbolism in the Popol Vuh is important because it explains life and death, satirizes human behavior, represents the creation of the Maya, and it depicts the importance of maize. Symbolism is best used in the Popol Vuh to explain life and death. Every life in this world, whether it is human or not, has a role to serve. Houseflies are undoubtedly an annoying creature…show more content…
The Popol Vuh doesn’t fall short in referencing and glorifying maize. One such reference in the Popol Vuh categorizes maize as a way to determine fate; if an ear of maize is planted and dries up, it indicates death. The article, “The Flowering of the Dead” concludes, “In Atiteco religion, ‘Flowering Mountain Earth’ is a place at the world’s centre whose primary manifestation is a maize plant or tree.” (Carlsen 27). A “Flowering Mountain Earth” is the center of the world that represents life, beauty, and the gods. Among this place, maize is an important object that animates and projects the qualities of a Flowering Mountain Earth. Maize is axis mundi, the center of the world. It is a staple crop in the Maya people; it is essential to the people and heavily relied on. The Maya saw maize as a fetish that truly gave them everything. Without it, everything that ties the Maya together falls apart. Successful growth of maize represents the life and well-being of the Maya, while a dying maize plant all but points to death and the failure of civilization. It is with the importance of maize in Maya culture, that it is omnipresent throughout the Popol

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