Popol Vuh

by

Dennis Tedlock

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Dark Jaguar Character Analysis

Dark Jaguar is the fourth man that Xmucane and Sovereign Plumed Serpent create out of corn. Though they also make him a wife, Macaw House, the couple only has daughters and therefore do not found a lasting family line. Dark Jaguar is somewhat of an auxiliary figure to the first four men; though he participates in the fight against the unnamed tribes, he doesn't design a trick cloak and is only mentioned as participating in some of the meetings. Similarly, though his family is given the god Middle of the Plain, their god is never mentioned again after being given to the family.

Dark Jaguar Quotes in Popol Vuh

The Popol Vuh quotes below are all either spoken by Dark Jaguar or refer to Dark Jaguar. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Simon & Schuster edition of Popol Vuh published in 1996.
Part Four Quotes

It was staples alone that made up their flesh.

Related Symbols: Corn
Page Number: 146
Explanation and Analysis:

"What should we do with them now? Their vision should at least reach nearby, they should see at least a small part of the face of the earth, but what they're saying isn't good. Aren't they merely 'works' and 'designs' in their very names? Yet they'll become as great as gods, unless they procreate, proliferate at the sowing, the dawning, unless they increase."

Related Characters: Xmucane (speaker), Sovereign Plumed Serpent (speaker), Hurricane (speaker), Jaguar Quitze, Jaguar Night, Not Right Now, Dark Jaguar
Page Number: 148
Explanation and Analysis:

They were blinded as the face of a mirror is breathed upon. Their vision flickered. Now it was only from close up that they could see what was there with any clarity.

And such was the loss of the means of understanding, along with the means of knowing everything, by the four humans.

Page Number: 148
Explanation and Analysis:

There were countless peoples, but there was just one dawn for all tribes.

Page Number: 161
Explanation and Analysis:

"It's just a coyote crying out," and "Just a fox."

"Just a puma. Just a jaguar."

In the minds of all the tribes, it was as if humans weren't involved. They did it just as a way of decoying the tribes; that was what their hearts desired.

Page Number: 164
Explanation and Analysis:

These three had sons, but Dark Jaguar had no son. They were all true penitents and sacrificers, and these are the name of their sons, with whom they left instructions.

Page Number: 174
Explanation and Analysis:
Part Five Quotes

Whether there would be death, or whether there would be famine, or whether quarrels would occur, they knew it for certain, since there was a place to see it, there was a book. Council Book was their name for it.

Page Number: 192
Explanation and Analysis:

They were great in their own being and observed great fasts. As a way of cherishing their buildings and cherishing their lordship, they fasted for long periods, they did penance before their gods.

Page Number: 192
Explanation and Analysis:

Three Deer and Nine Dog, in the twelfth generation of lords...They were tortured by the Castilian people.

Black Butterfly and Tepepul were tributary to the Castilian people. They had already been begotten as the thirteenth generation of lords.

Don Juan de Rojas and Don Juan Cortés, in the fourteenth generation of lords. They are the sons of Black Butterfly and Tepepul.

Page Number: 195
Explanation and Analysis:
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Dark Jaguar Character Timeline in Popol Vuh

The timeline below shows where the character Dark Jaguar appears in Popol Vuh. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part Four
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
Names, Power, and Memory Theme Icon
What It Means to be Human Theme Icon
The first four humans are named Jaguar Quitze, Jaguar Night, Not Right Now, and Dark Jaguar . These men talk, listen, walk, and work. They're also handsome, and from the very... (full context)
Names, Power, and Memory Theme Icon
What It Means to be Human Theme Icon
...Prawn House for Jaguar Night; Water Hummingbird for Not Right Now; and Macaw House for Dark Jaguar . The narrator says that these four couples make up the root of the Mayan... (full context)
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
...praise Sovereign Plumed Serpent and fast often. Jaguar Quitze, Jaguar Night, Not Right Now, and Dark Jaguar are great thinkers and are very devout, and they suggest that their families set out... (full context)
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
Names, Power, and Memory Theme Icon
What It Means to be Human Theme Icon
The families of Jaguar Quitze, Jaguar Night, Not Right Now, and Dark Jaguar travel to a citadel called Seven Canyons. There, Jaguar Quitze's house is given the god... (full context)
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
Names, Power, and Memory Theme Icon
After this, Tohil speaks to Jaguar Quitze, Jaguar Night, Not Right Now, and Dark Jaguar and tells them that it's time to leave this place. The god asks the men... (full context)
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
Finally, Jaguar Quitze, Jaguar Night, Not Right Now, and Dark Jaguar notice the "sun carrier" (the star Venus) rising in the sky. They unwrap their incense... (full context)
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
Names, Power, and Memory Theme Icon
...Tohil drinks the blood and speaks. Soon, Jaguar Quitze, Jaguar Night, Not Right Now, and Dark Jaguar begin making the sounds of pumas and coyotes when they see people from the tribes,... (full context)
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
Names, Power, and Memory Theme Icon
What It Means to be Human Theme Icon
...shields and weapons and plan to attack Jaguar Quitze, Jaguar Night, Not Right Now, and Dark Jaguar on their mountain. The tribes decide to attack at night, but instead of marching, they... (full context)
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
Names, Power, and Memory Theme Icon
Jaguar Quitze, Jaguar Night, Not Right Now, and Dark Jaguar make a plan. They build a fence around their citadel and then line the fence... (full context)
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
What It Means to be Human Theme Icon
...ready, the tribes descend upon the citadel. Jaguar Quitze, Jaguar Night, Not Right Now, and Dark Jaguar stand on the mountain and let their children watch the spectacle below. When the tribes... (full context)
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
Names, Power, and Memory Theme Icon
What It Means to be Human Theme Icon
Jaguar Quitze, Jaguar Night, Not Right Now, and Dark Jaguar know that they're going to die eventually, so they leave instructions with their sons. They... (full context)