:: Ta Sba Balamil Ta Ch'ulel ::

Ta Sba Balamil Book Cover


:: On the Face of the Earth and in the Soul ::

Xibalba Books Poetry Series #4

102 Pages: B&W with illustrations
Original Publication: Unreleased
First Edition Release Date: Summer 2021
Book Size: A5 (14.8cm x 21cm)
Genre: Poetry
Price: £13.95 (UK Price)

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Ta Sba Balamil Ta Ch'ulel ~ On the Face of the Earth and in the Soul
(A Visit to San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico)

In 2014, artist and poet Bruce Rimell visited the city of San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico as part of a programme of arts cultural events and indigenous ceremonies. To prepare for this journey, Bruce chose not to learn Spanish but Tzotzil, the local Maya language, and to explore the indigenous people’s beliefs, worldviews and ways of life.

During these researches, he learned that the Tzotzil pay close attention to their dreams, and they consider that Westerners and non-Maya Mexicans who ignore these night-time voyages live only half a life. This philosophy is expressed in the succinct Tzotzil phrase ta sba balamil ta ch’ulel, ‘on the face of the Earth, and in the soul’, meaning that human life must be lived in both waking life and dreams.

This little book of strange verse accompanied by surreal sketches is an attempt to bridge the gap between the Mayan cosmovision and the Western world, and represents an integrated reflection of Bruce’s journey to Chiapas.

Featuring visits to contemporary highland Maya villages, archaeological sites and time spent with indigenous people – on the face of the Earth – as well as ceremonies, visions and dreams – and in the soul – that became increasingly influenced by Tzotzil insights into how to live, this collection of poetry expresses Bruce’s effort to intimate something of that fuller dreaming human life which for the indigenous people of Chiapas is as natural as events in the waking world.

This delightfully designed volume features poems in both English and selected translations into the Tzotzil language, and it is the fourth in the new Xibalba Books Poetry Series aimed at republishing selected highlights from Bruce's vast poetry archive.

Selected Page Previews

Ta Sba Balamil 1

Ta Sba Balamil 2

Ta Sba Balamil 3

Ta Sba Balamil 4

Ta Sba Balamil 5

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