Talk:Popol Vuh

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Hajor, I relocated the secondary meanings line to below the opening paragraph because it seems much better that way. I know that placing the "disamb" at the top is common practice, however it is only one solution and does not rule out other solutions, like mine. Here is another excuse: the bands were named after the book (rather than coincidentally, or all three from some other source), so my solution gives that information in a simple and natural way. More importantly, placing the disamb at the top violates the important rule that the article should begin with a definition of the title. Finally placing the secondary meanings at the top gives them undeserved prominence.
All the best, Jorge Stolfi 05:40, 10 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Don't know. Just seemed a little strange to have those references in the body text of the article, and that high up in it too boot. I'm still not convinced, but I'm prepared to let it stand and see if anyone else comes along and finds a better solution. Cheers, Hajor 06:20, 10 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I took out a reference to the "University of San Carlos" since it was referencing a university in the Philippines and not the one in Guatemala City. Instead, I referenced it to the right name, i.e., the "Universidad de San Carlos" Ruf RT12

This external link is not directed to the article named any more: Chicago Tribune, February 4, 2006: "Newberry's 'Mayan Bible' draws experts, immigrants"

Animated version[edit]

I recall seeing an animated version of at least some of the Popul Vuh. Does anyone else recall it and can tell me it's name?

It was called "Popul Vuh", animated in the style of classic Maya vase paintings, Patricia Amlin in the late 1980s. Ah, here, I found a link: Popol Vuh: The Creation Myth of the Maya. -- Infrogmation 23:29, 15 December 2006 (UTC)


This page has been copy/pasted directly from this link: [1] and I do not see it listed anywhere in the sources (not that plagiarism in any form should be tolerated). --Chrishans (talk) 10:48, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Actually the 'plagiarism' is the other way around- it is the crystalinks site that has copied verbatim the text from a version of this wikipedia article. The crystalinks site does not AFAIK produce any original content itself, but 'reproduces' content on an eclectic series of topics from other sources, it seems. It's not the first time I've seen them copy material from wikipedia entries- without, I might add, what seems to be appropriate attribution. If you look again at their Popol Vuh page, towards the bottom you will see they have a link simply titled "References", that actually points back to this wikipedia article. That's something, I suppose, but it's probably not in the spirit or letter of GFDL licensing conditions. I think that site's been pinged before for inadequate attribution, will check to see if there's a current notification. --cjllw ʘ TALK 23:05, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Merge to Messa di Orfeo[edit]

No seperate notability asserted in the article. JASpencer (talk) 11:12, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

I think the merge target for this should have been identified as Popol Vuh (German band), and not this article. I've corrected the merge tag, and if you don't mind JA will transpose your comments to that article's talk pg where the merge discussion should've been intended. --cjllw ʘ TALK 03:43, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

Quiché vs K'iche'[edit]

The article switches between these two terms. I know they're interchangeable, but for consistency, should one be given preference over another? Anyone know which term is used more in other Mayan articles? -CaptainJae (talk) 16:06, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

we use k'iche' for the modern language and quiché for the classical language and in quotes.·Maunus·ƛ· 16:38, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
it should be k'iche' for both, since they are the same language. In Guatemala, the distinction between k'iche' and quiché is that the first is used by intellectuals who are aware of and use the ALMG alphabet, since the second (quiché) is used by intelectuales retrógrados who don't like changing their vocabulary and aren't, alltogether, pleased with the turn the Maya Movement has given to their discipline, in reducing their power over history. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Gatemonte (talkcontribs) 16:16, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
I agree that k'iche' should be used consistantly. Right now the article randomly switched between the two spellings, which is very confusing. Kaldari (talk) 06:07, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
I've changed most instances of Quiché to K'iche', but not quotations or place names. Kaldari (talk) 06:27, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

Incomplete book reference[edit]

I have deleted this sentence:

" The original text is seen as difficult to understand, and a simplified version, Popol Vuh: A Sacred Book of the Maya, has now been published in English, Hungarian, Estonian and Spanish, targeted towards adult and children who are unfamiliar with the Maya."

This book "reference" reads like an advertisement and lacks the necessary bibliographic data (as a minimum, author, year, and publisher). In any case, there are many "simplified" or "more accessible" versions of the Popol Vuh, with various degrees of fidelity to the original. Tedlock's, for instance, is already a "free translation". If we are to list such books,they had better be notable in some respect. All the best, --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 18:37, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Reverted edits -- why?[edit]

Hi, most of my recent edits to this article were reverted wholesale. While my edits may have introduced errors and bad prose, I honestly believe that they greatly improved the article. The history section, in particular, was all jumbled and apparently ignored recent publications, such as Allen Christenson's new translation. The revert also discarded all the inlined references, which are the WP standard ref style and got me a lot of work to put in. Will the editor please discuss the matter here, before gong on with the revert? Thank you, and all the best, --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 21:56, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

I've reverted to your version before the unexplained removal of a lot of well sourced content.·Maunus·ƛ· 22:27, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

I undid your history changes due to new evidence which will appear soon in a reputable journal. I did not have time to add full citations, but insofar as WP is a first source of info for so many web users, I thought it best to revert the history before the start of the school year this week. I thought your other edits were overly ambitious and painted with a broad brush, but I left them alone. Had you looked back at the history, you would have seen that my prior edits were generally acceptable. Rewriting an entire article with 23 edits in one fell swoop (as you did on Aug 3) seems a bit egotistical. Better to do it incrementally to allow others to consider the changes? I can't imagine someone being an expert on every dimmension of Popol Vuh. I for one, stayed away from the mythological content, b/c I am a colonialist, not a mythologist. I think it wopuld be appropriate for you to change the history back so that I can add the citations. Now, I've never had someone ask me to use the "talk" page before, so I've never been concerned with learning the process...hopefully this is the correct method. AmericanGringo (talk) 14:57, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

On another matter, I disagree with translating Spanish quotations to English. Colonial writing has many peculiarities that are only captured through the literal presentation. I propose that if the exact citation is undesirable for the English article, that the quotations be translated parenthetically or marginally in a footnote. AmericanGringo (talk) 15:04, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Yes this is exactly the right way to use the talk page to discuss improvements to articles - that is how we colaborate. As for incorporating yet unpublished material -Wikipedia is not a crystalball - we can amend the article to reflect new scholarship when it is published. I think it is a good idea to have the original quotes in footnotes. The part about incrementalism goes for your complete reversion of jorge Stolfi's changes as well: If you have particular issues about the colonialist issues you can change those parts and we'll discuss them one by one. Welcome to wikipedia - your contributions are valued - we just need to work out how our different ideas can best be integrated into the article. Popol Wuj is an important topic and the coverage has been too bad for too long. Happy editing! ·Maunus·ƛ· 15:19, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Yes, I admit (and realized the contradiction at the time I wrote it) your statement about whole cloth editing. I also realize that WP is not a crystal ball. However, WP is also not at the same level of rigor as traditional referred publishing. Therefore, avoiding unauthoritative statements should be the first consideration of contributors rather than the duty of reviewers. In other words, better to let thing slide as potentially incomplete rather than advance potentially incorrect information. As I stated, the school year is starting this week, and one would expect WP consults to rise. AmericanGringo (talk) 16:02, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Also, does anyone have an opinion on linking to WP's fr cite for an article that does not yet have an en stub? AmericanGringo (talk) 16:02, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

it is not allowed to use Wikipedia as a reference - wikipedia does not consider wikipedia to be a reliable source. :)·Maunus·ƛ· 16:10, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
What I meant by this was instead of the double brackets for internal wiki links, what about linking Brasseur to his fr article? Am I correct then in understanding that it is not possible? AmericanGringo (talk) 18:37, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
Brasseur de boubourg doesn't have an article? We'll have to make one then. Just leave it as a red link for now then we'll create an article for him right away. ·Maunus·ƛ· 18:41, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
Ahh, that's better: the English article on Charles Étienne Brasseur de Bourbourg is much better than its french counterpart. ·Maunus·ƛ· 18:50, 17 August 2009 (UTC)No
Yeah, i thought I had seen one in English before, but my search today retuned no results. I guess I might have typed it wrong, or experienced an instantaneous glitch. Oh well. AmericanGringo (talk) 06:19, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

History Proposal[edit]

OK, contributor interest on PV has heated up since CJLL Wright and I spent time on it in 2008. So I'm going to propose some history revision here first. A big problem with the history, in my analysis as a colonialist, is that there is a Western presumption of writing as a necessary precursor to formal discourse. In truth, the Maya and Aztec had (in)formal schools of rhetoric where apprenticing rhetoriticians spent years memorizing oral discourses of unimaginable length. This was the case during Plato's time where orality was superior to writing, but Western intellectualism in the colonial period rejected this paradigm, as Michel Foucault points out, b/c of a renaissance inversion of written discourse over oral discourse. For the Maya, knowledge was alive and had to be deposited in a living being, not on a piece of paper or monument. It is equivalent to the story of George Washington throwing a silver dollar across the Patomac river. The legend was not written; it survived by oral passage, but on occasion, one might see an artist's depiction of the supposed event. The same could be said of Genesis, which survived as oral tradition for centuries or millennia before being written down. In this context, the only certainty is that Ximénez's text is the oldest surviving account. Whether or not there was a precursive text, phonetic or glyphic, is speculative. The "many such books" that Xim. mentions in Historia de la Prov. is explained by Scherzer to be a "formula cabalistica" and therefore does not directly signify that the Maya had actual "literary" manuscripts. Similarly, the Florentine Codex exists as a result of Sahagún's conservation and no precursory text is reasonably hypothecated (which I will contribute a fwe lines in the next few days, so please don't jump on rewriting it right now...just wait a few days). I feel a better presentation of the History section is to start out with what is certain and work backward s.t. Xim. → 19th cen rediscovery → 20th cen rediscovery → theorized original(s). Move "modern editions" somewhere else b/c by definition "modern" does not fit well in a "history."

And we should all settle the issue of "book" b/c the Maya did not have "books." We need to (as Maunus did) and unify the references as manuscript, holograph, text, manuscript, or codex (any others I'm missing?).

AmericanGringo (talk) 18:37, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

I agree with your points. However note that there has been suggestions that parts of the text suggest having been narrated on basis of a pictographic manuscript. I forget where this suggestion is located (and my books ont he Popol Wuj are on a different continent right now) - but I know it has been referenced in tertiary literature. I do agree however that it is wrong to say that the story is depicted on classical Maya vases etc. They depict images form the same oral tradition that brought the possible pictographic manuscript and the Quiché manuscript. Also I think we should stay with text since this is the only word that allows for both pictographic, literate and oral versions.·Maunus·ƛ· 18:46, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
The premise of narration-from-text started with Brasseur, but picked up by Edmonson, Himelblau, and Christensen. However, Himelblau and Christenson both rely modestly on Edmonson's work. The possibility of a narration-from-text would, under my proposal, go with pre-Xim. theories at the end. Can we get Jorge in on this? AmericanGringo (talk) 19:05, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
You can wait and see what he thinks, but my impression is that he is not against your idea for improvements he was just taken aback by your removal of a lot of text and references without discussion. I think as long as you source your statements well with inline references to reliable sources (use the <ref></ref> tags to contain the references), and as long as you present good arguments for changes, he'll be okay with it. (I think)·Maunus·ƛ· 19:13, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
Hi, sorry for not joining the discussion earlier. I can't follow the nunances of the semantics of "books", but it seems quite clear that Ximenez was speaking of books in the literal sense, and that the Newberry Ms. was copied by him from one such book, written by K'iche' natives in K'iche' language with Spanish letters.
As far as I know, the existence of natives able to write such a manuscript is beyond dispute. The only alternative to the existence of a native written text would be that Father Ximenez himself wrote the K'iche' text, or at least composed it from oral narratives. Is there any scholar who subscribes to this view? I can't imagine Ximenez being able to compose poetry in perfect K'ich'e language and K'iche' poetic style; and I cannot imagine why would he set out to do such a thing.
Therefore, methinks that we should simply say that the Newberry manuscript is a copy of a now-lost K'iche' manuscript, probably from the 1550s, pointing to Ximenez's own account as a supporting source. That "fact" may not be 100% certain, but nothing is 100% certain, and many other "facts" are asserted in Wikipedia with much flimsier evidence. All the best, --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 00:23, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
Hmm, I agree with you too. I think we can be sure that ximenez copied it from another written version - we cannot call that version "the original" though since we don't know its origins - it was likely copied from some other form be it narrative, pictorgraphic or alphabetic. for me the question of possible oral narrative origins is strictly a possibility for the 16th century manuscript, not for Ximenez' version.·Maunus·ƛ· 00:26, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
You're falling into the same western-centric trap. It seems incomprehensible to memorize, say, Genesis or Exodus word-for-word. But that is precisely what Walter Mignolo says happened. AmericanGringo (talk) 00:54, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
I believe (like most people, it seems) that the Popol Vuh was *probably* recited from memory, before the conquest and for some time after it. But it seems quite certain that it was written down in Spanish letters by natives around 1550, and that Ximenez (150 years later!) copied from such a written text. Anyone who takes dictation in an unfamiliar language is bound to make many characteristic errors. Had Ximenez taken dictation from a native, both scholars and natives would surely have noticed those signs; and he would almost surely said so himself. (However, it is reasonable to assume that he had oral help from the natives for the translation to Spanish.) So the existence of the native manuscript is supported by the only direct source (Ximenez) and is consistent with all internal and external evidence. Presenting it as a mere hypothesis is to misrepresent what is known.
On the other hand, the existence of a pre-Columbian text written in Maya script is a plausible theory, but still without any shred of evidence for it; and therefore it should be presented as such. All the best, --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 18:11, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
No, we are not falling in a western centric trap. Since Millman Parry it has been well known that very complex oral traditions can be kept a live very long - this is however not what happened between the Spanish conquest and Ximenez. Ximenez says he copied it, most scholars agree that everything points to his having copied it form a 1550 manuscript. If there is someone suggesting that it was recited to Ximenez and he copied it verbatim then that view is in the minority and should not be given undue weight in the article. It would also have to be sourced to very good sources.·Maunus·ƛ· 18:21, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
I weighted the 1550 ms as "most scholars believe..." I began the contrary paragraph with "A minority disputes...". Do we have an acceptable compromise? AmericanGringo (talk) 21:26, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
That looks better yes - we need citations for both viewpoints.·Maunus·ƛ· 21:42, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

Quotations in Spanish[edit]

AmericanGringo wrote:

On another matter, I disagree with translating Spanish quotations to English. Colonial writing has many peculiarities that are only captured through the literal presentation. I propose that if the exact citation is undesirable for the English article, that the quotations be translated parenthetically or marginally in a footnote. AmericanGringo (talk) 15:04, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Giving the Spanish quotation is appropriate in a scholarly publication (journal article, thesis, book, monograph, etc.), where the readers are supposed to know the language, and where utmost accuracy is essential. But Wikipedia is supposed to be an encyclopedia, not a scholarly publication. You can bet that 90% of the readers do not understand Spanish, and will not appreciate the fine points you mention, in any language. Even those who can read Spanish may misunderstand quotations in colonial Spanish.
Wikipedia articles should be written for *those* readers, and not for the scholars who can and should read better sources. To that target public, the Spanish quotations would be useless clutter, if not subtly disparaging ("You cannot read Spanish? Who cares! Wikipedia is not for ignorant people like you!").
IMHO, our goal as editors is to make the information accessible to those readers. That includes sticking to language that they can understand (even if it is not precise enough by scholarly standards), and translating the quotations into English (if quotations are indeed necessary — which is hardly ever the case.) All the best, --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 00:45, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

Quoting WP: "However, do use sources in other languages where appropriate. When directly quoting a source in a different language, please provide both the original-language quotation and an English translation. The original-language quotation aids readers in verification, and the translation makes the information accessible to readers that do not read the original language." AmericanGringo (talk) 00:51, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

I think putting the original text in a footnote will be fine.·Maunus·ƛ· 00:52, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
I'm going to use parentheticals. WP does not state a preference and the verification purpose is largely defeated if one has to scroll. AmericanGringo (talk) 00:58, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
Well, for every 1000 readers of this article, I doubt that there will be one who would bother to verify the accuracy of the translation. If one must indeed give a quotation (instead of a paraphrase), placing the Spanish original in a footnote is more enough. But, please, try to keep in mind that the standards and habits of scholarly publications (including quotations and footnotes) are not necessarily appropriate to Wikipedia. All the best, --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 18:19, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
By that logic, the Quiché blurbs that are in there....shouldn't they be in footnotes? And elsewhere in the talk page, a contributor noted that translation "University of San Carlos" was inappropriate b/c a university by that name exists in the Phillipines. That contributor reverted it to "Universidad de San Carlos." I agree that information needs to be accessible. I challenge the assumption of what defines accessibility. It's not necessarily an "academic" mater. Some might consider it equally condescending to translate everthing to English. Presenting them parenthentically allows a reader to chose. Information need not be dumbed down to a lowest common denominator, just made accessible. AmericanGringo (talk) 19:30, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
It needs to go into footnotes. Chuns of sixteenth century spanish prose does not help anyone but completely disrupts the article flow. The article could never become and FA or GA with such poor readability. Footnotes don't require scrolling you simply click on the note and voila! Possibly the K'iche' should also go in footnotes unless it is meant as an example of what the kiche text looks like. ·Maunus·ƛ· 19:34, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
IMHO, the K'iche' frgments are useful because they show the peculiar poetic structure of the text and the "feel" of the language (both of which can be perceived by any reader, even without understanding a single word of K'ich'e, and even without knowing how exactly it is pronounced). Also, opening or key passages of famous books are interesting to many people, just for curiosity. (Note that those fragments are taken from the book which is the very topic of the article, not from a source that merely mentions it.) On the other hand, when summarizing the Popol Vuh's story line, it would be quite pointless to include quoted passages in K'iche', no matter how eloquent. All the best, --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 01:54, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
Likewise, "the [Spanish] fragments are useful becuaes they show the peculiar [colonial] structure of the text and the 'feel' of [colonialism]". The logic does not hold unless it is applied uniformly. My earlier point was that colonial texts manifest many peculiarities that is only captured in a direct quotation. For example, Xim.'s Escolios prologue reads:
Cosa es çierta, y averiguada entre todos los q’ conoçen indios, q’ es la
gente mas irregular en sus cosas, q’ se ha descubierto en toda la redondez
de la tierra, y asi muchos hombres de buen talento, cada dia se ven, desatinados
con sus cosas, pues quando les pareze q’ ya es tan al cabo de el conoçimiento de qui -
enes son los indios, se hallan tan en los prinçipios de su conoçimiento, y compre -
hension, q’ todo lo q’ han adquiro con su estudio, y cuidado para mejor poderlos
governar no les sirve, ya en los casos, q’ de nuevo se offreçen. muchos ha avido
q’ han querido dar a entender el conoçimiento de el indio en sus escritos, de
historias, y sumas, y otros escritos; pero pienso q’ les ha suçedido lo q’ a mi, me
suçedera en todos mis escritos, q’ aun q’ he procurado dar a entender lo q’ ellos
son, al cabo pienso q’ no avre dicho nada. [2]
There is indeed a unique voice behind the text, which is only seen, as you suggest, by presenting the "peculiarities" in the original language. AmericanGringo (talk) 03:36, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
(I'm not suggesting that the previous passage belongs in the article, or even that something of that length should be quoted in the article, I only present it here as an illustration of the feel of colonial texts.)

On another note can someone help with the citations? I'm still trying to learn the cite/ref syntax, and I know today's additions need polish. I feel satisfied with my history contribs and will now take a moderate siesta. AmericanGringo (talk) 03:44, 19 August 2009 (UTC)


If we are going to be footnoting original-language quotations, the number of entries in the ref list is getting quite long and congested. Possibly not very "accessible" for a reader or student using WP as a stepping stone to get acquiainted with PV? What does anyone think about going to WP's Short cite for the reasons explained by WP? AmericanGringo (talk) 04:49, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

I usually use shortcite for the same reason.·Maunus·ƛ· 12:33, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
That appeared to be the case on this article until last month. I'm not sure that changing it was an improvement. AmericanGringo (talk) 16:03, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
Thats because I had added most of the references untill last month - Ill change it back. its no big deal.·Maunus·ƛ· 16:14, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
I'm leaning toward a transitional compromise. I'm not going to undo the ref cite b/c I now understand that Jorge spent a great deal of time on it, and it does have merit. I'm thinking, though, that it will be equally helpful to have all the works listed in the reference section. Any objections to having a "bibliography" albeit possibly redundant? AmericanGringo (talk) 16:20, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
Opps, we were editing simultaneously. ;) AmericanGringo (talk) 16:21, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
I put most of the references inline because they are better for readers that way. Besides reducing clutter, with the inline format the readers can more easily jump from the ref tag to the ref entry and vice-versa. I do not think that editors should be pressed to use this format; but now that it is done, changing the refs back to the short/long format would be a step backwards, IMHO.
As for footnotes, I understand that they are customary in academic publications in the humanities. That is not the case in other areas, nor in general literature; and I personally find them annoying. The style manuals that I read strongly recommend against them (if the info is important, it should be in the main text; if it is not, it doesnt deserve a footnote). Again, I think that editors should be free to them or not, according to what they think is best. But I woudl only ask that you keep in mind that footnotes are not universally appreciated. All the best, --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 16:36, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
Cite short are inline references - they just don't use the ref name parameter. And make bibliographies and note apparatus easier to follow. the biggest advantage of shortcite is that the entire bibliography is in its own section not just where the note is. This is the defacto standard in the publications I read with very few exceptions. ·Maunus·ƛ· 16:43, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
Thank you. That's exactly what I was trying to say, but you said it so much better. AmericanGringo (talk) 19:00, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
By the same token, multiple short cites can be consolidated into one note, for example, 3-5 and 12-13. That would still further reduce the congestion. A big thank-you to Maunus who has already made tremendous progress on the daunting task of conversion. AmericanGringo (talk) 19:23, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

I was looking at fr version [3] and I liked the fact that ref notes aren't enclosed by brackets. Is there a way to do the same thing here? AmericanGringo (talk) 02:19, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

I don't think so - I think thats a difference between the style of the two wikipedias embedded in the software.·Maunus·ƛ· 02:25, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

The cite journal for López did not include page range from journal. In the process, I found it helpful to use the bulkier layout b/c it seemed clearer to me. I'm not suggesting reformatting all the bibliography entries, but does anyone have any thoughts on using it for future cites?

I don't like that one - an already long bibliography becomes extreeemely long when using that formatting, and it become difficult to maintain an overview of the bibliography section when editing it. The result for the reader is the same, since it is the same template just broken up into separate lines for each parameter. Btw there is no need to include the parameters that are not used e.g. acces date for a paper reference - just leave those out.·Maunus·ƛ· 20:15, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
I agree that it complicates editing in terms of overview. But by the same token, it would seem to make alphabetization easier. My thoughts were that the empty fields might make it easier for future cites to include the fullest possible info? AmericanGringo (talk) 21:23, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

Reposition the history section[edit]

The history section now is too long and detailed, and has little relevance to the contents and interpretation of the book. Since this article is titled "Popol Vuh", and not "Ayers Ms. 1515", we should move the History section to the end of the article and retitle it "History of the manuscript" (or whatever), so as to give precedence to the sections that discuss the book itself.
On the other hand, the lead section should have a one-paragraph summary of that history section, so that the reader can undertand its nature and importance. The only really important information is that it is a collection of pre-Columbian legends and chronicles, written down by natives around 1550 in poetical K'iche', and is the only surviving Mayan "epic" poem and native account of Mayan cosmology and mythology (or whatever). I would not mention even Father Ximenez in this lead sumamry. All the best, --Jorge Stolfi (talk) 17:04, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

I don't see Xim. mentioned in the intro. and I cool with that. To me, it seems to set the tone as to the content and importance of the text. As for history, you have a good argument for moving it to bottom. There is a problem with that, though. The "chapter" explanation had a fact flag, which I corrected. In order to do that, it was necessary to mention Brasseur and Recinos to explain the divisions. Without a preceeding history, that wouldn't make sense. (And I thought we settled the issue that it is not a "book"?) AmericanGringo (talk) 19:14, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
pr WP:LEAD the lead should be a summary of the entire article. I think it is a good idea to mention the manuscript and its provenience in the lead. It shouldn't fill up the whole lead though just a short sentence.·Maunus·ƛ· 20:09, 19 August 2009 (UTC)


The excerpts are way too long. They are only intended to give a flavour of the text and possibly a flavour of how different translations have varied. The actual contents should be paraphrased. Check WP:QUOTE for guidelines about direct quotations.·Maunus·ƛ· 09:15, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Agreed. I'm working on a redaction. Thanks for pointing me to WP:Quote. Very helpful. AmericanGringo (talk) 15:15, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

Anthropological Corroborations: Wrong Heading, Wrong Place[edit]

I changed the subsection's heading since this part of the text is not so much about corroborations (and what is actually being corroborated? we know that the Popol Vuh exists), as about the Classic Twin myth. Thus, the text does not contribute to the topic of "The PV Today", its influence in modern times etc., and it should therefore not be a subsection of this discussion. Furthermore, it is still very wordy and needs to be revised. (talk) 14:55, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

I see your point, but I think we should get some consensus from Wright, Stolfi, and Maunus. I think the idea in putting it in the "Popol Vuh today" was that the research is very recent and on-going. The subpart dealt with how PV is being recognized and applied today. It was not simply research into PV's past. But however the consensus evolves, "PV before PV" has to go. I understanding what you were trying to communicate, but it is too convoluted. AmericanGringo (talk) 15:04, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
Like Mr. Gringo I see the point behind the change, but am particularly unconvinced by the "PV before PV" title. Maybe something like "Popol Vuh motifs in Classic Maya mythology" o similarly "Popol Vuh and Maya mythology" would be a better title for the section?·Maunus·ƛ· 15:46, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
Agree with AG and Maunus that this section heading needs to be changed. We should probably minimise (if not eliminate) repetitions of the article's title in its section headings—almost always redundant since the target/subject of the heading should be self-evident to a reader. What about, "Antecedents in Maya art and mythology", "Antecedents in Maya iconography", or some such? "Precedents" or "Precursors" could be substituted for "antecedents" just as readily I guess...any nuances in meaning here are probably too slight to worry about. --cjllw ʘ TALK 03:49, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, antecedents sounds good. Still not fully convinced that it needs a new section. It seems like the content suggests something between 1) studying PV as a pre-text (which I know of no study that is explicitly that) and 2) current interpretation of the archeological records. AmericanGringo (talk) 04:58, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Actually, now that I re-read, I think that your proposal of "antecedents in iconogrpahy" does portray the vaguery of the content. AmericanGringo (talk) 05:02, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
My presumption about this section is that it would be somewhere to discuss & describe thematic elements and narrative vignettes from the PV that may have been identified or supposed to appear in the precolumbian iconographic record. That could be a useful/interesting section, without of course needing to claim a direct chain of descent from these to the PV text.--cjllw ʘ TALK 06:49, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Sounds good. Seems like the existing prose might need some retouching to reflect nuances. I'm not sure I'm the person to do that. How do you feel about taking the lead on implementing changes to the section? AmericanGringo (talk) 18:15, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Happy to help out where I can, but it is not going to be quick. Unfortunately my wiki-editing time is pretty constrained these days, and I (should) have learned by now not to make promises in updating stuff that I can only get around to in some indefinite timeframe. I will try to add what I can, but please don't anyone else who's so inclined hold off on it, waiting for me. Rgds, --cjllw ʘ TALK 00:44, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Exerpts K'iche'/Spanish/English[edit]

There is a problem with the excerpts in Line 6, "all pulsating" in the English version. The Spanish version has callado, "silent" or "quiet". The K'iche' version I think is mispelt and should be kalilonik, which also means "silent" or "calm" (although my K'iche' is now way too rusty to be trusted and all my K'iche' grammar books are on the other side of the Atlantic). Neither of these equates to "pulsating" given in the English version. Christenson's K'iche'/English version on Mesoweb gives "it is hushed" (on p5) and with the K'iche' spelling actually in the article (so that's probably right and I'm probably wrong).

The only version of the Popol Vuh I have to hand is the K'iche'/Spanish version by Adrián Inés Chávez, useful but not the best version and not helpful enough to sort out the above. Simon Burchell (talk) 21:57, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

Meaning of Popol Vuh[edit]

It's true that «Popol Vuh» is very similar to «Papel Vu» [«Your Book»], but is ovvious that is not possible that «Popol Vuh» means «Your Paper». When I talked about Popol Vuh with my grandama, she thinked that «Popol Vuh» means «People Book» because in italian “popolo” appears just like “popol” (that us Italian speackers pronunce [ˈpopol vʷu]). The translation «Book of the Council» is not correct, because «pop» in modern tzotzil, modern yucatec mayan and ancient quiché/k′iche′ means «cloth». — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:12, 26 December 2014 (UTC)

No Pop means "mat" in ancient K'iche, and the mat is a symbol of authority. That is the reason some people translate it as "book of council", they are aware that the literal meaning would be "Mat book" or "book of the mat". I dont know what Italian has to do with anything.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 20:26, 26 December 2014 (UTC)

I deleted the erroneous passage "There are also phonic [???] similarities to "papel" meaning "paper" in Spanish and the possessive form "vu" meaning "you" in Portuguese [???], which would have the literal meaning "The Paper of You" or "Your Paper"." Neither is there a pronoun "vu" in any Portuguese dialect (and even if so: why should it matter to K'iche'?) nor is there a source given for the suggested "phonic" resemblance. "Popol" BTW rather resonates with "popul(ar)" in Spanish. Similarly you could say as K'ich'e /wuj/ sounds like "Buch" for "book" in German it could be understood as "popular book" in Germany. Irrelevant. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:4CA0:4403:0:54D5:F37D:FAB4:A6AA (talk) 15:13, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

Poop is bedroll, wuuj is paper or book. If we distinguished long vowels, would the form be Poopol wuuj? — kwami (talk) 22:42, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

No, the evidence is quite clear that it is not "poop." It should also be clarified for all that any linguistic sympathy that one might perceive with German, Italian, or Portuguese is entirely irrelevant when assigning meaning or pronunciation. None of these languages can contribute meaning to a language with which there was no direct (or even indirect) contact. Even with Spanish, one must be careful not to infer meaning which did not exist. And as has been hinted in other talk edits, one must be absolutely mindful not to assign modern linguistic signification to the pre-conquist meaning. For example, pre-conquest Quiche/K'iche' had no signifier for "to write" because the concept of writing (in the sense of phonetic spelling) was purely European. Post-conquest Quiche experienced a linguistic broadening of "xchicatzibaj" which came to mean both "to paint" and "to write." While I personally do not agree with equality of the three rendering which had been listed, for these foregoing reasons I also cannot agree that it is correct to reduce the three proffered meanings (which were noted with "or") into a single rendering of the title's signification. AmericanGringo (talk) 20:14, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

I would also mention that pre-conquest Vuh/Wuj/Wuu/Wuh was not the same thing as a book. It was in fact a fan-fold series of lime-bleached birch wood. They did not manufacturer "paper" as Western thinkers would conceive it. AmericanGringo (talk) 20:19, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Using Proper Grammar[edit]

Parallelism is a key structure in ANY indo-european language. Some of the recent edits have mixed definite and indefinite articles. It is incorrect to write "a creation myth, a diluvian suggestion, and the epic narrative [...], and finally a genealogy." When sequencing items in a list, all should be indefinite articles (a,an), definite articles (the), or possessive pronouns (its). There should also not be two "and" joiners. AmericanGringo (talk) 02:19, 2 August 2015 (UTC)

Beginning Work and Sources Section?[edit]

I'm beginning work on this article for a class I am in, if anyone has any recommendations for books, sources, etc. I would appreciate them! The references section below the Notes seems a little off? If you compare it to something like Aztec society it's a bit different... Does the "Editions" section change how it's formatted? Sjwkcc (talk) 16:26, 29 September 2017 (UTC)

Planning for future work![edit]

Just so anyone that might see this is confused, I'm working on this article for a class through wikiedu. So, if some of my notes and comments seem like I'm talking to no one, it's because they are graded assignments. :)

Some ideas of what we can add/change:

  • Fix sources. Some things are not properly cited, others have no citation.
  • Also fixing the source list.
  • A few grammar issues.
  • Update external links.
  • Likely add some more information.

Potentially Relevant Sources:

Books that I need to see if there are online versions of:

Sjwkcc (talk) 16:42, 6 October 2017 (UTC)

Restructuring throughout article and a brand new section on the Hero Twins Sjwkcc (talk) 16:23, 3 November 2017 (UTC))[edit]

Hello! I'm going to make some big changes along with my partner today. Here's a list of the things we will be doing:

  • New introduction with updated sources/better structure
  • Moving around every section in order to make the article flow better
  • Updated excerpt sections to be more clear to read, also with updated sources.
  • New addition on the hero twins

Contributions to Story of the Mayan Hero Twins Hunahpu and Xbalanque[edit]

Discussion on the three sets of twins, The Lords of the Underworld (Xibabla), and the trials they faced leading up to the ballgame.

GuyJWG (talk) 16:21, 3 November 2017 (UTC)GuyJWG GuyJWG (talk) 16:21, 3 November 2017 (UTC)

Additions made to Story of Hunahpu and Xbalanque in Popol Vuh GuyJWG (talk) 17:29, 10 November 2017 (UTC)GuyJWG[edit]

I polished this section of the article up by adding hyperlinks to subjects mentioned. Such as; Mayan Hero Twins, Xibalba, Post-Classic, and Early Classic. I also corrected a few minor spelling errors. I will continue to make additions to this article.

Updated links and info on "Structure" section Sjwkcc (talk) 17:49, 10 November 2017 (UTC)[edit]

Redid the section of structure to include cited material and fixed some errors with some of the sections.

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