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Indigenous Literatures of the Americas: a digitally annotated edition of the Popol Wuj, the Maya K’iche’ Book of Creation

Presenters Name: 
Aldo Barriente
Primary Research Mentor: 
Allison Bigelow
Secondary Research Mentor: 
12:30 - 12:45
Time of Presentation: 
2019 - 12:30pm to 12:45pm
Board Room
Presentation Type: 
Presentations Academic Category: 
Grant Program Recipient: 
USOAR Program

Despite a rich history of aesthetic and narrative production, very few pre-Hispanic indigenous texts are known today, primarily because of the force of the Catholic Church and Inquisition during the conquest and settlement period of the Americas. One of the few remaining texts is the Popol Wuj, a text from the K’iche’ people of the Guatemalan highlands. The Multepal project at UVa presents a digital critical edition of the bilingual K’iche’-Spanish manuscript of the Dominican Fray Francisco Ximénez, the only version of the Popol Wuj to survive the Spanish conquest, now housed at the Newberry Library in Chicago. The edition’s annotations and entries on cultural, linguistic, geographical, and literary topics allow non-experts to better understand the Popol Wuj, indigenous texts, art and the deep cultural roots of the Maya people and their identities. These annotations and entries, written in English and Spanish, come from various translations (English, Spanish, K’iche’, and French) of the text, and from secondary analyses of the Popol Wuj. In this talk, I will explain my work in writing the thematic entries, critical manuscript annotations, and behind-the-scenes coding for the Multepal project and how these tasks equally provide multiple interpretations and perspectives of the Popol Wuj.