The ancient Mayans lived in what is now known as southern Mexico and northern Central America including Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Yucatán Peninsula and El Salvador. Their descendants live there still, and many of them speak the Mayan languages.
Lying in the tropical forest of Central America, Mayan cities were vast creations encompassing a complex society far ahead of its time. These cities flourished in a state of extensive scientific and artistic enlightenment. Despite all their progress, the Mayans never got past the stone age. Mayans can probably be credited with the first manufacture of rubber and being the first group to cultivate cacao, papaya, and the aguacate or avocado pear. They were in possession of a complicated number and calendar system but never developed a phonetic alphabet.
Popol Vuh, the Quiché Mayan book of creation, is not only the most important text in the native languages of the Americas, it is also an extraordinary document of the human imagination. It begins with the deeds of Mayan gods in the darkness of a primeval sea and ends with the radiant splendor of the Mayan lords who founded the Quiché kingdom in the Guatemalan highlands. Originally written in Mayan hieroglyphs, it was transcribed into the Roman alphabet in the sixteenth century.
This new edition of Dennis Tedlock’s unabridged, widely praised translation includes new notes and commentary, passages, newly deciphered hieroglyphs, and over forty new illustrations.