Mesoamerican art in context: an excerpt from an origin story (Popol Vuh)

“In the Denver Art Museum’s Art of the Ancient Americas galleries, we worked with Mexico City-based animators Hola Combo to create animations to help tell the origin stories that explain the relationship between ancient American communities and the their environment. For Mesoamerica we chose an excerpt from the “Popol Vuh,” a sixteenth-century book in K’iché Maya, that recounts the formation of the earth and the first peoples, among other tales. The K’iché people live in the highlands of Guatemala and speak one of the many Mayan languages. Despite its sixteenth-century origins, the stories in the Popol Vuh exhibit a strong connection with ancient Maya objects. Many of the same characters from the book appear on vessels and other ancient Maya visual material as Dr. Oswaldo Chinchilla-Mazariegos illustrates in his book Art and Myth of the Ancient Maya.”

Watch the story in Spanish

Watch the story in K’iché Maya

Cite this page as: Denver Art Museum, "Mesoamerican art in context: an excerpt from an origin story (Popol Vuh)," in Smarthistory, April 7, 2022, accessed July 21, 2024,