Skip to main content

Want a daily email of lesson plans that span all subjects and age groups?

Learn more

The twins who tricked the Maya gods of death - Ilan Stavans

  • 442,938 Views
  • 831 Questions Answered
  • TEDEd Animation

Let’s Begin…

One day, twin brothers Junajpu and Ixb’alanke discovered their father’s hidden ballgame equipment and began to play. Hearing their vigorous game, the lords of the underworld sent a messenger to challenge the boys to a match. Despite the danger, the twins nevertheless answered the call, making the trek to the great city of Xibalba. Who would emerge victorious? Ilan Stavans shares the Maya myth.

Create and share a new lesson based on this one.

About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Ilan Stavans
  • Director Arvind Singh Jeena, Nikhita Prabhudesai
  • Narrator Addison Anderson
  • Storyboard Artist Nikhita Prabhudesai
  • Animator Gaurav Dhaimodkar, Ashish Phadke, Elisha Bansode, Arnav Gaikwad
  • Compositor Arvind Singh Jeena
  • Art Director Nikhita Prabhudesai, Ashish Phadke
  • Composer Adam Alexander
  • Sound Designer Adam Alexander
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Director Alex Rosenthal
  • Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Editorial Producer Elizabeth Cox
  • Script Editor Alex Gendler
  • Fact-Checker Jennifer Nam
  • See more creators
Additional Resources for you to Explore
As the Mayan book of creation, the Popol Vuh offers us a unique glimpse to the indigenous world of the K’iche’ people of Mesoamérica before the arrival of the European conquistadors. Compare it with narratives about origins such as the Bible, Gilgamesh, Beowulf, and others. A retelling of the entire Popol Vuh is available from Restless Books. Visit the Popol Vuh online archives at Ohio State University.

Customize This Lesson

Create and share a new lesson based on this one.

About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Ilan Stavans
  • Director Arvind Singh Jeena, Nikhita Prabhudesai
  • Narrator Addison Anderson
  • Storyboard Artist Nikhita Prabhudesai
  • Animator Gaurav Dhaimodkar, Ashish Phadke, Elisha Bansode, Arnav Gaikwad
  • Compositor Arvind Singh Jeena
  • Art Director Nikhita Prabhudesai, Ashish Phadke
  • Composer Adam Alexander
  • Sound Designer Adam Alexander
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Director Alex Rosenthal
  • Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Editorial Producer Elizabeth Cox
  • Script Editor Alex Gendler
  • Fact-Checker Jennifer Nam
  • See more creators