Popol Vuh

by

Dennis Tedlock

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

Zipacna Character Analysis

Zipacna is the first son of Seven Macaw and Chimalmat. Like his father, he believes that he's extremely important. He outsmarts the Four Hundred Boys when they try to kill him by burying him in a deep hole, and when they're too drunk to fight back, Zipacna brings their hut down on them and kills them all. Hunahpu and Xbalanque take revenge by starving Zipacna for two days, and then setting a trap for him by placing a fake crab under an overhang at the foot of a mountain. When Zipacna wiggles into the small space to get the crab, the mountain rests on his chest and he turns to stone.
Get the entire Popol Vuh LitChart as a printable PDF.
Popol Vuh PDF

Zipacna Character Timeline in Popol Vuh

The timeline below shows where the character Zipacna appears in Popol Vuh. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part Two
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
Seven Macaw has two sons with his wife, Chimalmat: Zipacna and Earthquake. Zipacna spends his time building up mountains, while Earthquake moves and softens the... (full context)
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
The story shifts to Seven Macaw’s son Zipacna. One day, as he bathes on the shore, the Four Hundred Boys pass by dragging... (full context)
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
What It Means to be Human Theme Icon
After Zipacna leaves, the Four Hundred Boys speak amongst themselves. They decide that what Zipacna does is... (full context)
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
Names, Power, and Memory Theme Icon
...throw another massive log down into the hole and then hide themselves. They reason that Zipacna will cry when he dies, and Zipacna indeed cries out. The boys celebrate their victory... (full context)
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
...Boys' drink is finished, the boys all get drunk and lie languidly throughout their hut. Zipacna emerges from his hole and brings the boys' hut down on them, killing all of... (full context)
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
Names, Power, and Memory Theme Icon
...to hear that their friends, the Four Hundred Boys, are dead. They decide that since Zipacna is greedy and spends every day eating fish and crabs, they'll create a fake crab... (full context)
Names, Power, and Memory Theme Icon
...explain that they tried to catch the crab, but it just bit and scared them. Zipacna asks the twins to show him where the crab is, but they insist they're too... (full context)
Origins, Customs, and the Mayan Culture Theme Icon
Heroism vs. Villainy Theme Icon
...they tried entering the cave on their backs, the crab got scared. They suggest that Zipacna should enter the cave on his back, and Zipacna agrees. When they arrive at the... (full context)