Popol Vuh

by

Dennis Tedlock

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Jaguar Quitze Character Analysis

Jaguar Quitze is the first human created by Sovereign Plumed Serpent and Xmucane out of cornmeal. He is handsome, devout, and at first, all-knowing. With his wife Red Sea Turtle, he becomes the progenitor of the Cauec line of Mayan people, who worship the god Tohil. Jaguar Quitze is instrumental in orchestrating the tricks against the unnamed tribes and insuring a Mayan victory. When he decides that it's time, he and the other three first men simply disappear rather than die. Upon his departure, he leaves his son the "Bundle of Flames," which is a mysterious package that future generations never open but treat as a memorial to the first four men.

Jaguar Quitze Quotes in Popol Vuh

The Popol Vuh quotes below are all either spoken by Jaguar Quitze or refer to Jaguar Quitze. 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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Jaguar Quitze Character Timeline in Popol Vuh

The timeline below shows where the character Jaguar Quitze 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... (full context)
Names, Power, and Memory Theme Icon
What It Means to be Human Theme Icon
...Serpent and Xmucane create wives for the first men. They make Red Sea Turtle for Jaguar Quitze ; Prawn House for Jaguar Night; Water Hummingbird for Not Right Now; and Macaw House... (full context)
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
...tribes are considered crazy. The first humans, however, praise Sovereign Plumed Serpent and fast often. Jaguar Quitze , Jaguar Night, Not Right Now, and Dark Jaguar are great thinkers and are very... (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... (full context)
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
Names, Power, and Memory Theme Icon
Tohil is the first god to create fire. Jaguar Quitze and Jaguar Night thank the god for fire, and their families sit around it as... (full context)
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
Names, Power, and Memory Theme Icon
...so cold that they inappropriately covet the fire and want to steal it. They offer Jaguar Quitze metal in exchange for fire, but Jaguar Quitze addresses Tohil and asks the god what... (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... (full context)
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
What It Means to be Human Theme Icon
...to a canyon; Not Right Now takes Hacauitz to the top of a mountain, and Jaguar Quitze takes Tohil to a great forest. Then, the men wait at the top of the... (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... (full context)
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
Names, Power, and Memory Theme Icon
...they place the bloody meat on Tohil's stone, Tohil drinks the blood and speaks. Soon, Jaguar Quitze , Jaguar Night, Not Right Now, and Dark Jaguar begin making the sounds of pumas... (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
Tohil, Auilix, and Hacauitz go to Jaguar Quitze , Jaguar Night, and Not Right Now. The gods ask the men to decorate cloaks... (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
...followers. The numerous tribal warriors gather all their shields and weapons and plan to attack Jaguar Quitze , Jaguar Night, Not Right Now, and Dark Jaguar on their mountain. The tribes decide... (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... (full context)
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
What It Means to be Human Theme Icon
...that the army is only manikins. When they're ready, the tribes descend upon the citadel. Jaguar Quitze , Jaguar Night, Not Right Now, and Dark Jaguar stand on the mountain and let... (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... (full context)
Part Five
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
Names, Power, and Memory Theme Icon
The narrator goes on to list generations of lords descended from Jaguar Quitze . In the twelfth generation, two of the lords are tortured by the Castilian invaders,... (full context)