Popol Vuh

hm1200, Palmer CollectionMuch of Maya culture revolved around the text of the Popol Vuh, or Book of Counsel. The text recalls the creation of humans by the Heart of Sky and the Sovereign Plumed Serpent in a series of attempts, using materials such as clay, wood (HM 1200), and finally maize. The most important gods included Itzmna, lord of life; Ali Kin, the sun god; Ah Puch, god of death; Chac, god of water and rain; Yumkax, the corn god; and Ixchel, goddess of the moon, pregnancy, and of abundance. The Maya believed there were a total of 13 heavens above earth and 9 underworlds beneath it. A god ruled each of these skies and lower worlds. The Maya honored these many gods discussed in the Popol Vuh with sacrificial ceremonies in which food, pottery, animals, and even humans were offered.