Popol Vuh

by

Dennis Tedlock

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One Monkey and One Artisan Character Analysis

One Monkey and One Artisan are the sons of One Hunahpu and Egret Woman. These two dedicate their lives to becoming great artists, writers, and musicians. Both brothers are also very skilled at a traditional Mesoamerican ball game, and they spend much of their time playing with their father and their uncle, Seven Hunahpu. When the boys' father and uncle descend to Xibalba, they charge One Monkey and One Artisan with entertaining and caring for Xmucane. When Blood Moon gives birth to their younger brothers, Hunahpu and Xbalanque, the older brothers are jealous and incensed, even though the boys are aware that their brothers will be very important heroes. They attempt to orchestrate their baby brothers' deaths, but fail to do so and are finally tricked into becoming monkeys. Though this fate isn't construed entirely positively, One Monkey and One Artisan's monkey forms become the patron gods of artisans, writers, and musicians.

One Monkey and One Artisan Quotes in Popol Vuh

The Popol Vuh quotes below are all either spoken by One Monkey and One Artisan or refer to One Monkey and One Artisan. 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 Three Quotes

But Hunahpu and Xbalanque aren't turning red with anger; rather, they just let it go, even though they know their proper place, which they see as clear as day.

Page Number: 105
Explanation and Analysis:

"Our elder brothers will be remembered. So be it: they have lived here and they have been named; they are to be called One Monkey and One Artisan."

Related Characters: Hunahpu (speaker), Xbalanque (speaker), Xmucane, One Monkey and One Artisan
Page Number: 108
Explanation and Analysis:
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Popol Vuh PDF

One Monkey and One Artisan Character Timeline in Popol Vuh

The timeline below shows where the character One Monkey and One Artisan appears in Popol Vuh. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part Three
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
Names, Power, and Memory Theme Icon
...Hunahpu are the children of Xmucane and Xpiyacoc, and One Hunahpu has two other sons, One Monkey and One Artisan , with his wife, Egret Woman. Seven Hunahpu remains single, but he is just as... (full context)
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
Names, Power, and Memory Theme Icon
...and Seven Hunahpu spend their time throwing dice and playing a ball game, often with One Monkey and One Artisan . Their ball court is midway between the sky and Xibalba, the underworld. As such,... (full context)
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
...tie it up in Xmucane's roof and promise to return to play again. They tell One Monkey and One Artisan to entertain their grandmother. Xmucane bursts into tears, and her sons assure her that they're... (full context)
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
Names, Power, and Memory Theme Icon
...pregnant with her grandbabies. Wrought with grief, Xmucane insists that she has no grandchildren but One Monkey and One Artisan , and laments that One Hunahpu and Seven Hunahpu died in Xibalba. Blood Moon tries... (full context)
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
...Xmucane sends her to gather a full net of corn ears. Blood Moon walks to One Monkey and One Artisan 's garden, where she finds only one stalk of corn with only a few ears.... (full context)
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
What It Means to be Human Theme Icon
...into the house they cry loudly, and Xmucane insists that Blood Moon take them outside. One Monkey and One Artisan place their baby brothers first on an anthill and then in some brambles, but the... (full context)
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
The narrator explains that One Monkey and One Artisan want their brothers to die, as they're very jealous of Hunahpu and Xbalanque. One Monkey... (full context)
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
Xmucane, One Monkey, and One Artisan treat Xbalanque and Hunahpu horribly. They don't show them love or feed them. Hunahpu and... (full context)
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
Names, Power, and Memory Theme Icon
...boys explain that their birds got stuck in a tree and they need help from One Monkey and One Artisan to get them down. One Monkey and One Artisan agree and follow their brothers. As... (full context)
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
What It Means to be Human Theme Icon
...Hunahpu and Xbalanque begin shooting birds in the tree. None of the birds fall, so One Monkey and One Artisan agree to climb the tree and get the birds down. As they climb, the tree... (full context)
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
Names, Power, and Memory Theme Icon
...shameless," like animals. Xmucane is suspicious, but Xbalanque and Hunahpu assure her that she'll see One Monkey and One Artisan again. They explain that they're going to "test their brothers' destiny," but say that Xmucane... (full context)
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
Names, Power, and Memory Theme Icon
When they hear the song, One Monkey and One Artisan come, dancing. When Xmucane sees her grandsons looking so ugly and silly, she laughs. This... (full context)
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
Names, Power, and Memory Theme Icon
...Xmucane to not be sad, as she still has them as grandchildren. They explain that One Monkey and One Artisan will be remembered by their names, and will be prayed to by musicians and artisans.... (full context)