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Book of the Common (Libro del Común)

Fishburn and Hughes: The Popol Vuh, the national book of the Quiché Maya, which contains their mythology and history. The manuscript was found in the village of Chichicastenango, in the Quiché area, by Father Francisco Ximénez, who transcribed it and translated it into Spanish. It became known to the Spaniards as The Book of the Council or The Book of the Community. The expressions used by Tzinacán to describe his mystical vision are taken more or less directly from the first two chapters of Part One which describe the creation of the world - 'The mountains appeared from the water; and instantly the mountains grew' — and of the first men, made of wood: 'And instantly the figures were made of wood. They looked like men, talked like men.' These first men, the narrative continues, behaved cruelly towards the objects and animals which surrounded them, and 'their earthen jars, plates, pots and grinding stones' turned against them, and so did the dogs which took revenge 'and destroyed their faces'. Equally, at the beginning of chapter 1 we read that only the Great Father and the Great Mother (Qaholom and Alom, for the Quiché had a dual concept of divinity) were there, in the water, hidden under green and blue feathers. After 'the word came' they united their thoughts and 'planned the creation'. The Writing of the God