Popol Vuh Essay

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Exam 1- Mesoamerica Question#2 Discuss the iconography of the Milky Way and the Dark Rift. Include specific examples of artworks or architecture that define them. The Maya believed that spiritual forces and their ruling deities underlie and control material manifestation, therefore recognition of astronomical features is critical to understanding the true meaning of the Maya end-date 2012. Image C shows how the Earth will be impacted before and after December 21, 2012.This paper discusses the importance and representation the Milky Way and the dark-rift have on the Mesoamericans. According to John Major Jenkins, “The Mesoamericans mythologized the Milky Was as a cosmic tree, a cosmic mountain or volcano, a cosmic ballcourt, a Great Mother, a snake or crocodile monster, a white toad, and a river.” In the centre of the Milky Way (Image D) lies the dark rift also known as xibalba be, which consists of interstellar dust visible to the naked eye. Jenkins states “The Black Road, the crook in the calabash tree, the cosmic birthplace, the crossroads, the jaguar’s mouth, the Sacred Tree” are astronomical concepts that point to the dark-rift. The dark-rift is a place of connection between life and death and the Earth and the Underworld; a place where creation occurs. One of the meanings that the Milky Way and the dark-rift have that are worth mentioning is the Popol Vuh, (Image F) which is a Creation epic that recounts the adventures of the Hero Twins located in the Quiche Maya book. “The Popol Vuh refers to the dark-rift in several different mythological contexts. The black cleft in the Milky Way and the crossing point of the Milky Way and the ecliptic in Sagittarius are extremely important celestial features because of their involvement with the astronomical alignment that occurs on the 13-baktun cycle” In one particular episode , the Black Road(dark-rift) speaks to

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