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The archetypal creation story of Latin America, the Popol Vuh began as a Maya oral tradition millennia ago.
In the mid-sixteenth century, as indigenous cultures across the continent were being threatened with destruction by European conquest and Christianity, it was written down in verse by members of the K'iche' nobility in what is today Guatemala. In 1701, that text was translated into Spanish by a Dominican friar and ethnographer before vanishing mysteriously. Cosmic in scope and yet intimately human, the Popol Vuh offers invaluable insight into the Maya way of life before being decimated by colonisation - their code of ethics, their views on death and the afterlife, and their devotion to passion, courage, and the natural world.
It tells the story of how the world was created in a series of rehearsals that included wooden dummies, demi-gods, and eventually humans. It describes the underworld, Xibalba - a place as harrowing as Dante's hell -and relates the legend of the ultimate king, who, in the face of tragedy, became a spirit that accompanies his people in their struggle for survival. Popol Vuh: An Illustrated Retelling is a one-of-a-kind prose rendition of this classic that is as seminal as the Bible and the Quran, the Ramayana and the Odyssey.
Award-winning scholar of Latin American literature Ilan Stavans brings a fresh creative energy to the Popol Vuh, giving a new generation of readers the opportunity to connect with this timeless story and with the plight of the indigenous people of the Americas.
Buy Popol Vuh: A Retelling by Ilan Stavans from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
Book DetailsISBN: 9781632062406
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