Misapprehensions of Fact
Since Popol Vuh first entered the world stage in 1857, an extraordinary degree of unwarranted myth and misapprehensions of fact have become deeply entrenched in common perceptions of “Popol Vuh” as a narrative and as an object.
There simply is no evidence that highland Maya had copious glyphic ‘texts’. Editors and scholars of Popol Vuh frequently write and speak of “hieroglyphic books” among the Maya. The idea of Amerindian books and the prevalence of the same among the Maya derives from the memoire of Fray Diego de Landa more ›
Alphonse Pinart was never a book dealer. There is not much internet information on Alphonse Pinart, but the biography composed by Ross Parmenter documents that Alphonse Pinart was an ethnolinguistmore ›
Popol Vuh is not an original title. Ayer ms 1515 (which is the oldest surviving source text) does not have an actual title and its heading merely says “las historias del origen de los indios.”more ›
Juan Gavarrete’s copyscript is not lost. As the photo below shows,, Jack Himelblau (1989) and Munro Edmonson (1973) lept to incorrect conclusions. more ›
Ayer ms 1515 was likely bound in Guatemala. Giselle Simon, former Director of Conservation Services at the Newberry Library, considers the binding technique consistent with nineteenth-century work, albeit a relatively “crude binding” which “the Newberry would not have bound.” more ›
Carl Scherzer was never a physician. At least one source suggests that Scherzer was a lawyer, but his only documented employment was as a printer and as a statesman. The misconception that Scherzer was a physician flows from Scherzer’s self-assumed honorific in his 1857 edition of Popol Vuh and possibly began with Recinos’ 1947 Spanish edition and his 1950 English translation.more ›