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The Amazing Twins: Ancient Maya Tales from the Popol Wuj

These resources were created as a companion to The Amazing Twins: Ancient Maya Tales from the Popol Wuj, a puppet show created by Vanderbilt CLAS and the Nashville Public Library.  The show follows the adventures of twin gods Junajpu and X'balanke, whose triumphs against powerful forces make way for the creation of man from corn. Written in the Western Highlands of Guatemala around 1550 and translated into Spanish in the 18th century by Friar Francisco Ximenez, the Popol Wuj is one of the most important indigenous texts of the New World. This collection of myths and legends was most likely written by members of the K'iche' Maya, who dominated the Western Highlands at the time of the Spanish conquets.

Access a recording of the puppet show through the CLAS Online Podcasts:

This discussion guide includes:

  • Themes
  • Booklist
  • Themes
  • Booklist 
  • Maya: Ancient and Modern 
  • Life Among the Maya 
  • Questions and Activities 
  • Maya Religion 
  • Mayan Language 
  • Go Down in History 
  • Glyph Chart 
  • Maya Math 
  • Document Your Birthday 
  • Maya Huipiles 
  • Maya Figurines 
  • The Maya Ball Game 
  • Literature and Story 
  • Popol Wuj: Part One 
  • Popol Wuj: Part Two
  • Popol Wuj: Part Three
  • Chilam Balam of Chumayel 


CLAS and Nashville Public Library


Lesson Plans

Grade Levels

K–4, 5–8, 9–12