“The Twin’s Visit to the Underworld” Vocabulary Study Guide


Know the following words and definitions.

 agile – nimble; quick

appetizing – tasty; flavorful

avenge – take revenge on behalf of someone

commotion – disturbance; uproar

 devised – dreary; gloomy

emerged – came out

features – parts of the face

felines – cats

fiends – demons; monsters

 leery – careful; on one’s guard

 misshapen – twisted; deformed

 obligingly – willingly; agreeably

ravine – small, steep cut in the earth, usually made by running water

resurrected – brought back to life

 scuttling – scampering; bustling

severed – cut off

shunned – avoided; scorned

soundly – completely

tremors – violent shaking; earthquakes

Vocab Review Cards



The Popol Vuh is the sacred book of the Maya.

It begins with the creation story.

The tlachtli game was played on a long, narrow court. It resembled a combination of basketball, volleyball and soccer. Teams ranged in size from 2-11 men each.

A small rubber ball had to be put in a hoop without using the hands, feet or lower legs.

The game had religious significance. The courts were located near temples.

The sun god was honored before each game.

The captain of the losing team was often beheaded.

The Mayans created a calendar with 20 months of 18 days each (360 days). They added an extra 5 days since they knew the earth took 365 days to rotate around the sun. They were very superstitious about these 5 days. They believed that whatever they did they would be doomed to do forever.

The Mayan pantheon (group) of gods began with 13 gods-one for each level of heaven.

Nine lords ruled the underworld. The underworld gods often fought with the gods from heaven.

The dog was a symbol of death. Dog statues were often placed over a grave.

The good went to paradise where they spent their days relaxing under a large tree.

The truly evil were doomed to the dark underworld with the evil lords.

Mayan tombs were similar to Egyptian tombs. Objects that would be needed in the afterlife were often included. Servants were sacrificed and buried with their masters.

Twins Test Review