The centrality of maiz cultivation in Mesoamerica is well-documented in the Popol Wuj. Below we provide background information on some of the key tools and technologies used in Maya agriculture.
Instruments used to plant gardens include the axe (kaj), used to make a clearing, and the hoe (mixk'ina'), used for tilling the earth. When the Hero Twins are tasked with planting, their magic causes these tools to do their work for them, while they enjoy blowgun hunting. Although farming does not seem to be their primary purpose or role in the text, Juajpu and Xb’alanke’s use of these objects in crop cultivation is notable; failure to produce corn would result in starvation for the ancient Maya.
It seems that Junajpu and Xb'alanke's use of magic to replace true labor is frowned upon. For example, the food the grandmother serves them afterwards is characterized as an unjust reward obtained through trickery:
Ma qitzij ab'ixik chikib'ano / Xaloq' chib'e ya'oq ki wa
(Not true maize farming they would do/ Without cause she would go to give their food)
They even go so far as to dirty themselves with mud and wood chips so that it appears they have been hard at work. This description might characterize their actions as improper, especially as they are later punished by the animals’ re-thicketing of their cleared and planted field.