Research Essay, Thesis & Dissertation Topics Sample Assignments:

Cultural artifact “The Popol Vuh

May 21, 2023 0 Comments

For your proposal, choose a cultural artifact, and tell me who created it, where and when was it created, and why you’ve chosen this artifact. Your choice must be indigenous or Latin American. In other words, not an artifact from the United States or Canada. For the purposes of this project, any part of the the Western Hemisphere south of the United States is fair game, including English-speaking areas such as Belize, Jamaica, and Guyana.
By I mean any created work of art, like the things we will study this semester, or you have studied in other humanities-related classes. This could be a work of 4 (poem, novel, any book); (a song or a particular album, for example); (paintings, drawings, sculpture, electronic visual art); a work of ; a a ; or something else that could be described as a “cultural artifact.”
Please choose a specific work, rather than a category of cultural artifact. For example, don’t write about “books.” Write about a specific book. Don’t write about “music,” or “hip hop.” You can write about a specific piece of music, a specific album, a specific song, but not about an entire genre.

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For this proposal, I have chosen the cultural artifact “The Popol Vuh,” an ancient Mayan literary work. The Popol Vuh is considered one of the most important texts of Mayan literature and mythology. It was created by anonymous indigenous Mayan authors in what is now Guatemala, specifically the highland region of the K’iche’ Maya people.

The exact date of its creation is uncertain, but it is believed to have been written during the 16th century, shortly after the Spanish conquest of the region. However, the Popol Vuh is a transcription of much older Mayan oral traditions and mythologies that were passed down through generations.

I have chosen the Popol Vuh as my cultural artifact because it holds immense cultural and historical significance for the Mayan people and provides valuable insights into their mythology, cosmology, and worldview. It is not only a religious and mythological text but also a narrative that offers a glimpse into the origins of the world and the Mayan civilization.

The Popol Vuh tells the story of the creation of the world, the mythical exploits of the Hero Twins, Hunahpu and Xbalanque, and the struggles between gods and humans. It explores themes of creation, destruction, rebirth, and the eternal struggle between good and evil. The text provides a rich understanding of the Mayan culture, their beliefs, and their connection with the natural and spiritual realms.

Furthermore, the Popol Vuh played a crucial role in preserving Mayan cultural heritage and resisting the erasure of indigenous traditions during the colonial period. It survived attempts at destruction and suppression by Spanish colonizers and continues to be celebrated and cherished as a symbol of Mayan identity and resilience.

Studying the Popol Vuh not only allows us to appreciate the literary and artistic achievements of the Mayan civilization but also provides a deeper understanding of the diverse cultural tapestry of Latin America. It serves as a testament to the richness and complexity of indigenous cultures and their contributions to the collective heritage of the Western Hemisphere.

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