Words and Music: Antonio Vidal, 1960s
Tzuúl Tacá was taught to us by Leonora Orellana, a Guatemalan musician residing in Brisbane who had learned it directly from its composer Antonio Vidal. Written in the early 1960s it takes the form of a prayer to the mountain god of the Kekchi people and it asks him to grant courage to their men, and security to their lands. In Guatemala, indigenous people, like all who labour on the land, are viciously exploited by a narrow class of wealthy landowners who are held in power by monstrously repressive armed forces, the CIA, and United States military aid.
Tzuúl Tacá. Dios de los cerros!
Tzuúl Tacá. Dios que cuida de la lluvia
Y de nuestras sementeras!
Aqui esta la gente Kekchi:
Aqui esta tu copal Pom.
Tzuúl Tacá, aqui estan las garras del leon,
Las garras del tigre tambien,
Las plumas del Papagayo.
Chíl, chíl chíl chíl, chíl chíl chíl, chíl chíl chíl.
Haced que nuestros hombres sean valientes!
Que nuestras tierras nunca sean invadidas!
Tzuúl, Tzuúl, Tzuúl Tacá
Cantemos doncellas del Rabinal!
Cantemos doncellas gente de Kekchi!
Tzuúl, Tzuúl, Tzuúl Tacá!
Tzuúl Tacá! God of the mountains!
Tzuúl Tacá! God who looks after the rain,
And our seedbeds.
Here are the Kekchi people
Calling you, praying to you,
Here is your incense.
Tzuúl Tacá! here are the claws of the lion!
The claws of the tiger as well;
The feathers of the parrot.
Grant that our men be brave,
That our lands never be invaded!
Let us sing, young women of Rabinal!
Let us sing, young women of the Kekchi people!