Council Book

Popol Vuh was based as an ilb’al, meaning “instrument of sight or vision” (p. 64; lines 51-52).

The word is used today to refer to the clear quartz crystals that Quiché priests use in

divinatory ceremonies. It may also be used to refer to magnifying glasses or spectacles, by

which things may be seen more clearly. Thus the rulers of the Quichés consulted the Popol

Vuh in times of national distress as a means of seeing the future:

They knew if there would be war. It was clear before their faces. They saw

if there would be death, if there would be hunger. They surely knew if there would

be strife. There was an instrument of sight. There was a book. Popol Vuh was

their name for it. (p. 287)

Popol Vuh – Sacred Book of the Quiche Maya People – Tranls.


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