Popol Vuh

by

Dennis Tedlock

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Popol Vuh can help.

The Owl Messengers Character Analysis

The Owl Messengers are the four messengers of Xibalba. They are Shooting Owl, One-legged Owl, Macaw Owl, and Skull Owl, but they always function as a group. They're tasked by One Death and Seven Death with inviting One Hunahpu and Seven Hunahpu to play ball in the underworld, and they later help Blood Moon escape Xibalba by agreeing to not cut out her heart as they were commanded to do. Instead, they take a "heart" made of tree sap back to the lords, which blinds the lords when they roast it over the fire.
Get the entire Popol Vuh LitChart as a printable PDF.
Popol Vuh PDF

The Owl Messengers Character Timeline in Popol Vuh

The timeline below shows where the character The Owl Messengers 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
One Death and Seven Death send their messenger owls to summon One Hunahpu and Seven Hunahpu to play ball in Xibalba. They instruct the... (full context)
Names, Power, and Memory Theme Icon
The owl messengers guide One Hunahpu and Seven Hunahpu down the road to Xibalba, which winds down a... (full context)
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
Names, Power, and Memory Theme Icon
...insists that she's a virgin, but her father won't hear of it. He instructs the owl messengers to take her away, sacrifice her, and bring back her heart. (full context)
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
The owl messengers take Blood Moon by the hand and lead her away. Once they're well away, Blood... (full context)
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
What It Means to be Human Theme Icon
Blood Moon tells the owl messengers that from now on, their home won't be in Xibalba, and they'll no longer conduct... (full context)
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
The lords of Xibalba greet the owl messengers and inquire about the success of the sacrifice. One Death inspects the dripping "heart," and... (full context)
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
Names, Power, and Memory Theme Icon
...decide to summon these foolish ball players to play in Xibalba, and they tell the owl messengers to invite Hunahpu and Xbalanque to a game in seven days. The messengers travel directly... (full context)
Names, Power, and Memory Theme Icon
...eventually hear about these entertainers and decide to summon them to perform. They send their owl messengers , but first Hunahpu and Xbalanque refuse. They insist that they'd embarrass themselves in front... (full context)