In Popol Vuh, anonymous Mayan authors excellently combine both the history and the lore of the Quiché Maya to tell the story of their origin and explain their existence as well as explain why things in the world happened the way that they did. As an AP World History student, I found this book incredibly intriguing. The way that Christenson translated this from the original language was not only fluid but captured the voice of the Maya. Their unique tone and style is clear and contributes a rustic feel that helps the reader clearly visualize the events being described. Both the adventures of the various Mayan gods and the tales of wars between the Quichés and the so-called nations offer an interesting read and an insight to early Central American culture.
Popol Vuh has a clear purpose. As stated in the preamble, it is to "...tell the ancient stories of the beginning, the origin of all that was done in the citadel of Quiché, among the people of the Quiché nation." The authors do this well, of course. They clearly illustrate how the earth, the animals, and the different versions of people (mud, wood, etc) were created and what purpose they served in the order of things. Animals, for example, were created to be eaten and humans were created to praise the gods. Then, slightly out of order, the stories of various human-like gods, including Hunahpu and Xbalanque, are told. These stories describe why things happen the way they do. They give explanations to things such as the size of the macaw's eyes and the wideness of the whippoorwill's mouth. Finally, Popol Vuh gives an account of the early history of the Quiché Maya. All of these combined complete a tale of the ancient stories of the beginning, as the authors reference them in the preamble, as well as the origin of the Quiché Maya and their people.