Upon hearing this, Seven Macaw requested that his teeth be fixed since they had been shot and knocked loose by the blowgun, and his eyes cured (it is not specifically said what ailed his eyes). Hunahpu is one of the hero twins in the Popol Vuh.With his brother, Xbalanque, he rids the pre-human world of all manner of villainous gods, including Seven Macaw, Zipacna, One Death, and Seven Death.Hunahpu is a skilled trickster and is referred to by the narrator as genius. They were sent to Razor House, the second deadly test of Xibalba, filled with knives that moved of their own accord. In doing so, the grandparents replaced his jeweled teeth with white corn and plucked the ornaments he had about his eyes, leaving the god destitute of his former greatness. They went through their gamut of miracles, slaying a dog and bringing it back from the dead, causing the Lords' house to burn around them while the inhabitants were unharmed, and then bringing the house back from the ashes. A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality study guides that feature detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, quotes, and essay topics. In one, they manage to kill a bird demon that was setting itself up as a god to be worshipped. Find a summary of this and each chapter of Popol Vuh! The mythology of Red Horn and his two sons have some interesting analogies with the Maya Hero Twins mythic cycle. [citation needed], Not recognizing them, the boys were allowed to remain among the Xibalbans. The younger boys claimed that they had indeed shot several birds but that they had gotten caught high in a tree and were unable to retrieve them. The Death Lords commanded the boys to kill and bring back to life a dog, a human and finally one of the Twins. [citation needed], When their father had answered the summons, he and his brother were met with a number of challenges along the way which served to confuse and embarrass them before their arrival, but the younger twins would not fall victim to the same tricks. The Twins were finally transformed into sun and moon, signaling the beginning of a new age. Seven Macaw was knocked from his tree but only wounded, and as Hunahpu attempted to escape, his arm was grabbed by the god and torn off. He further provides insight into the meaning of the stories contained in the Popol Vuh , particularly how they are meant to act as an explanation for the movements of stars and planets. The Hero Twins . The myth is ancient going back to Pre-Classic era and probably into archaic times. When their grandmother was informed that the older boys had not been harmed, she demanded they be allowed to return. California – Do not sell my personal information. Two sons were conceived, however, by the seed of the dead father. One day, the pair returned from the field without any birds to eat and were questioned by their older siblings. [citation needed], Most animals eluded their capture. However, the next day they returned to find their work undone by the animals of the forest. They did not stop there, however, and continued climbing straight on up into the sky. The twins know that they must die, however, so they summon two seers and tell them to grind the boys' bones and scatter them in the river. The Death Lords sacrificed the boys and ground them to bits. [5], Hunahpu and his brother were conceived when their mother Xquic, daughter of one of the lords of Xibalba, spoke with the severed head of their father Hun. The Twins' shooting of a steeply descending bird (the 'Principal Bird Deity') with blowguns may represent the defeat of Vucub-Caquix, whereas the principal Maya maize god rising from the carapace of a turtle in the presence of the Hero Twins may visualize the resurrection of the Twins' father, Hun-Hunahpu. Nevertheless, through magical means, the decapitated head of Hun Hunahpu managed to father the twins on Xquic, a goddess of Xibalba. There, the boys regenerated, becoming first catfish, then boys again. The Death Lords tried to trick them repeatedly, but each time the Twins outwitted them. Xbalanque summoned the beasts of the field, however, and fashioned a replacement head for Hunahpu. Two of the most important deities in Popol Vuh are the Hero twins, Hunahpu and Xbalanque. All rights reserved. The Xibalbans despaired, confessed to the crimes of killing the brothers years ago, and begged for mercy. As a punishment for their crimes, the realm of Xibalba was no longer to be a place of greatness, and the Xibalbans would no longer receive offerings from the people who walked on the Earth above. Though his original head was used as the ball for the next day's game, the twins were able to surreptitiously substitute a squash or a gourd for the ball, retrieving Hunahpu's real head and resulting in an embarrassing defeat for the Xibalbans. Xbalanque—the 'War Twin'—is more animal-like, in that he is distinguished by jaguar patches on his skin and by whiskers or a beard. [citation needed], Summoned to Xibalba by the Lords of the Underworld, the father and uncle were defeated and sacrificed. They sent a mosquito ahead of them to bite at the Lords and uncover which were real and which were simply mannequins, as well as uncovering their identities. Hunahpu and Xbalanque obliged, leading Cabrakan toward the non-existent mountain. The head of Xbalanque is used as a variant for the number nine (balan being similar to bolon 'nine'). [citation needed]. They anger the lords of Xibalba, the Maya underworld, with their loud playing of the ceremonial ball game. They were then turned into the Sun and the Moon. When he did, Hunahpu shot him in the face. Popol Vuh by Dennis Tedlock Plot Summary | LitCharts. The Maya ball game could be played just for fun, but it also held deep religious meaning for the Maya, who saw it as the eternal battle of good versus evil. [citation needed], Enthralled by the performance, One Death and Seven Death, the highest lords of Xibalba, demanded that the miracle be performed upon them. The skull spat upon the maiden's hand, which caused the twins to be conceived in her womb. When their mother left to find out why and the pair were alone in the home, they sent the rat up into the roof to gnaw apart the ropes that held the equipment hidden and were able to retrieve the equipment their father and uncle had used to play ball. [4] In any case, the Twins are often depicted together with the main maize god, and these three semi-divinities were obviously felt to belong together. The Hero Twins also became great ball players, but they were noisy and angered the Lords of Xibalba, who called them to the Underworld for a ball game. The myth is ancient going back to Pre-Classic era and probably into archaic times. Popol Vuh Introduction + Context. When the Death Lords heard of their great feats, they called the Twins to Xibalba again. Dismayed, the Xibalbans bypassed the remaining tests and invited the boys directly to the game. In another, they bring their father, Hun Hunahpu, back to life then make him the Maize God. The Twins had won! The sons—or 'Twins'—grew up to avenge their father, and after many trials, finally defeated the lords of the Underworld in the ballgame. The entire myth of the Hero Twins is too long to provide in this short article. The Twins also turned their half-brothers into the howler monkey gods, who were the patrons of artists and scribes.