Popol Vuh

by

Dennis Tedlock

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Tohil is the god given to Jaguar Quitze's family after the first humans are created. He is the only god able to make fire at first, and he tricks the tribes without fire into agreeing that they will allow Tohil to kill them when they ask how they can earn fire. When the first dawn arrives, Tohil turns to stone.

Tohil Quotes in Popol Vuh

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

The timeline below shows where the character Tohil 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
Names, Power, and Memory Theme Icon
What It Means to be Human Theme Icon
...travel to a citadel called Seven Canyons. There, Jaguar Quitze's house is given the god Tohil; Jaguar Night's family is given the god Auilix; Not Right Now is given a god... (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... (full context)
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
Names, Power, and Memory Theme Icon
...steal it. They offer Jaguar Quitze metal in exchange for fire, but Jaguar Quitze addresses Tohil and asks the god what the people should give him in exchange for fire. Tohil... (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... (full context)
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
What It Means to be Human Theme Icon
A while later, Tohil speaks again to the first men and asks for them to give him, Auilix, and... (full context)
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
...the earth suddenly dries out from the heat of the sun. At the same time, Tohil, Auilix, and Hacauitz turn to stone, along with several other icons of animals. The first... (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 first men go regularly before Tohil and Auilix to thank them for the dawn. However, they burn only resin and marigolds... (full context)
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
Names, Power, and Memory Theme Icon
...men immediately begin hunting birds and deer, and when they place the bloody meat on Tohil's stone, Tohil drinks the blood and speaks. Soon, Jaguar Quitze, Jaguar Night, Not Right Now,... (full context)
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
...men begin hunting tribal people. When they kill them, they cut their bodies open for Tohil and Auilix, and then roll the heads into the road for the tribes to find.... (full context)
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
What It Means to be Human Theme Icon
In their boy forms, Auilix, Tohil, and Hacauitz spend much of their time bathing in a river now known as Tohil's... (full context)
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
What It Means to be Human Theme Icon
...head to the river. They undress and wash laundry in the river and wait until Tohil, Auilix, and Hacauitz arrive. The gods barely look at the maidens, but they do ask... (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... (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 warriors gather all their shields and weapons and plan to attack... (full context)
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
Names, Power, and Memory Theme Icon
...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 to use wasps and yellow... (full context)
Part Five
What It Means to be Human Theme Icon
...to honor them for their service. The narrator then lists the "houses of the gods": Tohil resides at the Great Monument of Tohil; Auilix resides in a building named after him;... (full context)