thou Maker, thou Modeler,
look at us, listen to us,
don’t let us fall, don’t leave us aside,
thou god in the sky, on the earth,
Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth,
give us our sign, our word,
as long as there is day, as long as there is light.
When it comes to the sowing, the dawning,
will it be a greening road, a greening path?
Give us a steady light, a level place,
a good light, a good place,
a good life and beginning.
Give us all of this, thou Hurricane,
Newborn Thunderbolt, Raw Thunderbolt,
Newborn Nanahuac, Raw Nanahuac,
Sovereign Plumed Serpent,
Grandmother of Day, Grandmother of Light,
when it comes to the sowing, the dawning.
— from the Popul Voh
(trans. Dennis Tedlock)
The Popol Vuh (date unknown) is a body of Mayan narratives and songs sourced to the Quiché kingdom (13th Century), located in modern-day Guatemala’s western highlands. Translated roughly as “The Book of the Community” or “Book of the People,” the Popol Vuh provides a creation myth, hints at a long-lost flood myth, presents hymns to the immortal, and relates an epic tale of twin brothers Hunahpu and Xbalanque — which find resonance in other Native-American myths and in Judeo-Christian biblical and Greco-Roman classical mythology.