Popol Vuh

by

Dennis Tedlock

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The Tribes Character Analysis

The tribes refer to a number of allied, unnamed groups that exist in the mountains when the first men are created. The tribes are open about their distaste for Auilix, Tohil, and Hacauitz and therefore work to wage war against the first men and their families. However, the tribes fall for every trick orchestrated by the gods or the first men, and they lose spectacularly. After they lose the battle, the first men take them on as vassals, servants, and tributes.

The Tribes Quotes in Popol Vuh

The Popol Vuh quotes below are all either spoken by The Tribes or refer to The Tribes. 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'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:
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The Tribes Character Timeline in Popol Vuh

The timeline below shows where the character The Tribes 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
...crowded. The people look to the sky, though dawn hasn't arrived yet. There are also tribes in the mountains, and those tribes are considered crazy. The first humans, however, praise Sovereign... (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
...them. One day, Tohil speaks and instructs the men to not tell the envious neighboring tribes about him. He explains that the tribes are growing and will soon begin hunting him... (full context)
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
Names, Power, and Memory Theme Icon
...Jaguar begin making the sounds of pumas and coyotes when they see people from the tribes, hoping to scare them. The tribes never suspect that they're being hunted. The men return... (full context)
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
...open for Tohil and Auilix, and then roll the heads into the road for the tribes to find. The tribes believe for a long time that this is the work of... (full context)
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
What It Means to be Human Theme Icon
...spend much of their time bathing in a river now known as Tohil's Bath. The tribes catch sight of the boys here and decide to try to defeat them directly. The... (full context)
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
What It Means to be Human Theme Icon
The tribes are thrilled when Lust Woman and Wailing Woman arrive with the cloaks. The tribal lords... (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
The tribes gather together and decide to invade and kill all of Tohil's followers. The numerous tribal... (full context)
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
Names, Power, and Memory Theme Icon
...with wooden manikins. They dress the manikins and give them the stolen weapons from the tribes. Then, the men ask Tohil what will happen if they die. Tohil tells his followers... (full context)
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
What It Means to be Human Theme Icon
When the tribes arrive and spy on the four men and their families, they're thrilled to see that... (full context)