Popol Vuh

This vessel, now in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, shows the Hero Twins on either side of their father, the Maize God, as he emerges from the Underworld. Photo by Justin Kerr.

This vessel, now in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, shows the Hero Twins on either side of their father, the Maize God, as he emerges from the Underworld. Photo by Justin Kerr.

Recorded in the Roman alphabet by the 16th century highland K'iche Maya for their Spanish overlords, one part of the Popol Vuh tells of brave deeds and magical feats played out in mythic time by the Hero Twins, Hunahpu (hoo nah PU) and Xbalanque (shba lahn KAY). The brothers descend to the Underworld, survive a series of adventures and use their magic to defeat the Lords of Death and restore their father, the Maize God, to life.