Yollotl

This short film conveys a sense of Mayan life, through the stories of children, the bodies of trees, the canopy of the night sky. It tries to communicate a worldview in which all cosmology is connected, from the stars to the ceiba to the self.

The ceiba tree is at the centre of this film. Children play on it, lie on it, listen with their ears pressed to the bark. They say they can hear their ancestors through the tree. With roots that reach under the world and branches that stretch up to the heavens, the dead are connected to the living world and may still be heard through its skin.

In Mayan cosmology the ceiba is the central pillar holding up the sky, giving structure to creation. It is a world tree, growing through the plains of existence from the underworld, to living world, to the heavens. Yollotl means heart, and the ceiba is the heart of creation.

As the children play on the ceiba, they sing a traditional song, and the narrator tells a story of the love of the tule tree for the ceiba. The ceiba is also the heart of Mayan culture, sacred and beloved.

Through art, song, story and documentary, Yollotl tries to place us for a moment in a place of understanding, to see the Mayan world from the inside out, to understand its heart.

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