The "Popol Vuh", the Sacred Book of the Maya, comes alive in this version of the original book by the renowned Yucatecan author Ermilo Abreu Gomez. This is an easy to read English translation of the Spanish version of the Popol Vuh written by one of Mexico's greatest writers. A great version of the "Popol Vuh" in Spanish by Adrian Recinos is also available, please click here.

Maya-English-Spanish Vocabulary


   "At that time, there were no people, no animals, no trees -nothing. It was all a desolate wasteland with no end. Space lay still upon the flatness and the immense sea rested over chaos. There was nothing brought together, nothing moving. What was above bore no relation to that was below. Nothing was seen standing. Only the silent stillness of the water could be felt as it seemed to fall into the abyss. In the silence of the darkness lived the gods who were said to be Tepeu, Gucumatz and Hurakán and in whose names are guarded the secrets of creation, existence and death, the earth and its creatures.

   When the gods came to the place where darkness dwelled, they spoke among themselves, made clear their feelings, and agreed on what should be done.

   They thought of how to make light flow, light, which would be fed by eternity. Light was then formed within the womb of the eternal existence. They also studied the original nature of life, which abides in the heart of the unknown. The gods were favorably disposed to the existence of the creatures who were to be born. Before this certainty, they said: -It is good to empty out the earth and separate the water from the low places so they can be cultivated. The sowing will be fruitful because of the dew in the air and the moisture underground. The trees will grow and blossom, give fruit and spread their seeds. Future inhabitants will eat the harvested fruit and in this way have both nature and its food. This is the way it will always be. They will die the day they have it another way .

   And so the formation of the land where the new beings would live was decided upon. Then the clouds which had filled the space between the sky and earth were set apart. Under these clouds and from the water on the surface, the hills and mountains that we see today began to appear. Forest of cypress, oak, cedar, and mahogany trees were formed in the valleys. The wonderfully rich sap from the trees released a sweet, acid aroma. The path that divided wet space from dry space was opened.

   Upon seeing what had been done, the gods said: -The first creation has been completed and it is beautiful in our eyes.
   They immediately wanted to finish the work they had begun."

Ermilo Abreu Gomez

The English version of the book "Popol Vuh" by Ermilo Abreu Gomez is sent to our contributors worldwide from our headquarters in Mérida, Yucatán, México. The Maya World Studies Center asks for a contribution of $13 USD for the Popol Vuh, plus $8 per order S&H to the USA and Canada (S&H to other places will be quoted upon receipt of your order).

Centro de Estudios del Mundo Maya
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Mérida, Yucatán, México 97119
Maya World Studies Center

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