Allison Margaret Bigelow deposited Popol Wujs: Culture, Complexity, and the Encoding of Maya Cosmovision in the group CLCS 18th-Century on MLA Commons 1 year, 10 months ago
The Popol Wuj is one of the most important, commonly studied, and widely circulated Indigenous literary works from colonial Mesoamerica. By some accounts, there are 1,200 editions of the work published in thirty world languages, all of which trace back to a single manuscript—itself a copy of an earlier Mayan work. To protect their work from being destroyed by colonial officials or Inquisitional authorities, the original K’iche’ authors of the Popol Wuj had to embed their ways of knowing in a language and narrative structure that could not be detected by Spanish readers. Each edition of the Popol Wuj therefore helps to uncover different elements of the cosmovisión that is embedded in the text. This article draws from recent collaborative efforts to prepare a digital critical edition of the Popol Wuj based on the editorial standards and scholarly conventions of the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI). By comparing and contrasting the advantages and drawbacks of this edition relative to printed works and digital editions, we suggest how methods from the digital humanities can shed new light on texts like the Popol Wuj.