Watching the Colossal Hunahpú

Watching the Colossal Hunahpú by Rudy Girón

The colossal volcano that stands to the south of Antigua Guatemala is known at present as Volcán de Agua, but before it was known as Hunajpú (yes, there many spellings). Hunahpú is the twin brother of Ixbalanqué as told in the Popol Vuh, sort of the Mayan Bible, the two Maya hero twins. If you have not read the Popul Vuh yet, you’re missing out on a great book, sacred as the Bible for many.

The Maya Hero Twins are the central figures of a narrative included within the colonial Quiché document called Popol Vuh (Book of the People), and constituting the oldest Maya myth to have been preserved in its entirety. Called Hunahpu and Xbalanque in Quiché, the Twins have also been identified in the art of the Classic Mayas (200-900 AD). The Twin motif recurs in many native American mythologies; the Mayan Twins in particular could be considered as mythical ancestors to the Mayan ruling lineages…

… With Xibalba defeated and the arrogant gods disposed of, Hunahpu and Xbalanque had one final act to accomplish. They returned to the Xibalban ballcourt and retrieved the buried remains of their father, One Hunahpu, and attempted to rebuild him. Although his body was made whole again he was not the same, and was unable to function as he once did. The twins left their father there in the ballcourt, but before doing so told him that he would be prayed to by those who sought hope, and this eased his heart.
Then finished, the pair departed Xibalba and climbed back up to the surface of the Earth. They did not stop there, however, and continued climbing straight on up into the sky. One became the Sun, the other became the Moon. (…continue reading at Wikipedia)

© 2011 – 2013, Rudy Girón. All rights reserved.

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  • Erick!

    Really nice shot you captured there, Rudy.  Is that an active volcano?

    I’ve always been curious about reading the Popol Vuh, but I’ve never really set time aside to do so.  Is it a long read?

    • It’s not an active volcano, that’s Volcán de Agua in the background. You ought to read the Popol Vuh.

  • MO

    Nice shot of Hunajpú Rudy! 
    BTW: Can one really read the Popol Vuh (Spanish or English version) without yawning?  Does one have to be a Mayan scholar or amateur archaeologists to truly enjoy it?  Once you start reading it…is it one of those books you can’t put down?  Honest opinion please.

    • The Popol Vuh is not actually dry… it’s more like Greek mythology, fun adventure reading really.

  • Eli Orozco

    I went to Barnes and Noble last year and I decided to check the Spanish literature section, and by my surprise, they had an English copy of The Popol Vuh!
    Great photograph by the way.

    • Did you buy the Popol Vuh in English? How was it?

  • Eli Orozco

    I did not buy it, just read a bit of the first page.
    It was just amazing to see it here, in a small town where no Hispanic lives.

    • Well, the Popol Vuh should universal literature like the Bible, the Greek literature, the Qur’an, etc.