The civilization of Maya and its origins has interested historians and scientists for a long time due to the fast rise and fall of this civilization. The Popol Vuh is one of the sources that contain the original information about how this civilization viewed the process of their creation. This book is more like a gathering of myths that explain how the Mayan people were created. This essay analyzes one chapter of the aforementioned book from the perspective of the creation and the themes that are mentioned. In addition, the essay is providing a parallel between the view on the creation mentioned in the Popol Vuh and the general religious view in the contemporary world.
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The first theme that could be mentioned is the theme of Food worship. Many nations gave importance to food but the myth in the Popol Vuh has put the Maize or the white and yellow corn as the main ingredient for the creation of the human. Therefore the creation of the human was similar to raising maize, as it needs soil and water, similarly, the white and yellow corn became the flesh, the grease became the human fat and the water became the blood. In general, the main theme that could be established is the relation of man to nature which is sensed through the process of creation and even in the names that were given to the first created men. The similarity to the world religion (here the three religions mean: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam) where the first human creation was a man.
The second theme that could be considered is the imperfection of the human, where the first creations were given knowledge and powers similar to gods, then there were limited to the qualities that they have now “They were blinded as the face of a mirror is breathed upon. Their eyes were weakened. Now it was only when they looked nearby that things were clear.”
Then the creation of the women showed the importance of the family, and if analyzing the names that were given to the first women (Celebrated Sea-house, Prawn House, Hummingbird House, and Macaw House) it could be acknowledged that the roles given to women are being the mother, the support of the family and their place for rest to which they will always return no matter where they go.
Another theme is the importance of the origins “Jaguar Quitze was the grandfather and father of the nine great houses of the Caucus.” where it is apparent that each Quiché has pride in the lineage that he came from, recalling who his ancestors and from what line he came. This fact outlines the importance of one’s origins and family that never weakens with time passing by.
The single-origin is another theme that could be discussed where it is shown that despite the language differences that occurred later they acknowledge that they were similar to each other and has one god “There is just one name for their god”. If paralleling to the world religions the single origin is also mentioned there and all the religions agree in general that there is one god despite the different pronunciation of his name.
From a quick review of the origins of human creation through the book of Popol Vuh, it is shown that there are similarities between the basics and the values of the religions. The themes in this myth imply that the people were relating themselves to nature, yet acknowledging a great power above them that controls their fates.