An interpretation of heiroglyphs and oral traditions written by indigenous peoples being converted by Jesuits in Central America and Eastern Mexico.
Popul-Vul, Tedlock Translation

translated by Dennis Tedlock with commentary based on the ancient knowledge of the modern Quiche Maya
– There was no little justice in the fact that it was the missionaries themselves, the burners of the ancient books, who worked out the problems of adapting the alphabet to the sounds of Mayan languages, and while they were at it they charted grammars and compiled dictionaries.

Their official purpose in on-going this linguistic work was to facilitate the writing and publishing of Christian prayers, sermons, and catechisms in the native languages. But very little time passed before some of their native pupils found political and religious applications for alphabetic writing that were quite independent of those of Rome.

These independent writers have left a literary legacy that is both more extensive than the surviving hieroglyphic corpus and more open to understanding. Their most notable works, created as alphabetic substitutes for hieroglyphic books, are the Chilam Balam or “Jaguar Priest” books of Yucatan and the Popol Vuh of Guatemala.

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