"The Popol Vuh- the Book of Counsel“ of the K'iché-Maya belongs to the most important creation myths of the early advanced civilizations in the world. A Maya from the K'iché people, who had learned Spanish during the conquista, wrote down the the texts in K'iché with Latin letters between 1545 and 1555. Before that, the texts were only passed on orally. Father Francisco Ximenéz copied this book and translated it into Spanish. Then he returned the original to the K'iché people. In this way the book escaped the radical burning of almost all Mayan writings written on bark and leather by the Spanish. Today only one original copy of the time around 1700 is still preserved.
The Popol Vuh contains texts about the creation of the world, about gods and heroes and reports about the migration of the K'iché up to the arrival of the Spaniards in the year 1524. The myths contained in the Popol Vuh are still of inestimable importance for the Maya people fighting for their cultural identity. The Popol Vuh, the "Holy Book of the Maya", is the common heritage of the "People of Corn", as the Maya call themselves, and connects the different peoples of the Maya, of which 13 indigenous groups with completely different languages live in the Mexican state of Chiapas alone. Their habitat is the tropical rainforest of the lowlands near the border to Guatemala and the highlands of the Sierra Madre de Chiapas and the Meseta Central.
The sound composition "Popol Vuh - The Book of the Origin of the Maya" by Götz Naleppa is limited to the first part, "Book of Counsel", the story of creation, in which the cruel and cosmic comedy of creation can be experienced (text version Anja Gundelach). The text - in classical K'iché-Maya and in two contemporary Mayan languages (Tzeltal and Chol) - was partly recorded in temple sites in Chiapas with Mayan speakers and later supplemented by a German language layer (a Spanish language version was produced in parallel). The voices are orchestrated by Field Recordings from the Maya habitat, the rainforest, and by Jorge Reyes' improvisations on prehispanic instruments in the temple sites of the rainforest. Thus, after 500 years, the ritual conch shell horn resounds again in the temple district of Bonampak and the myth of the creation of the „People of Corn“ in a burial chamber of Palenque. This sound work is dedicated to the struggle of the Mayan people for recognition of their dignity and cultural identity.
Awarded with the Prix Marulić of Croatian Radiotelevision (2007) and the New York Festivals Gold Award as "World's Best Radioplay" (2008).