In 1-2 well-developed and well-detailed paragraphs, discuss one of the topics listed below.
- How does the Hero-Twins’ journey to Xibalba compare and/or contrast with the journeys other epic heroes have taken to the afterlife and/or underworld? You might also discuss the purposes of the journeys, how the underworlds are structured, and how the inhabitants of the underworld behave—as well as the outcome or the results of those journeys for each of the epic heroes.
- Discuss the creation stories in Popul Vuh (creation of the world and humans) and compare them to two other creation stories that we read at the beginning of the semester. Are there any universals (ideas/beliefs found in all the stories)? What about the Popul Vuh creation story do you find different or unique in comparison to the other ones we read?
- Today there is a great deal of debate about the accuracy or authority of a text transcribed or recorded by someone outside that text’s culture or society. The Popul Vuh was originally written down by a Mayan author but after the conquest of Mesoamerica by the Spanish. Also the version of the Popul Vuh we are reading was transcribed and translated by a Spanish priest in the early 1700s. Do you find anything in the text which indicates an effect of Christianity on the text? In other words, are there elements which might reflect the influence of Christianity on the religion and beliefs as presented in the text we are reading?
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