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Past, Ámbar / Mendes Peres, Maruch (Text) /
Araki, Tamana (Ill.)

Als die Sonne ein Kind war

After a Mayan myth

Translated from Spanish by Jochen Weber
© 2012 Baobab Books
40 pages, hardcover, 30,5 x 21 cm
CHF 25.00 / € [D] 18,50 / € [A] 19,10
ISBN 978-3-905804-43-0
Ages 5 and up

Foreign rights sold:
Chinese (simplified)
Foreign Rights Catalogue

In the half light of a tropical jungle live three brothers and their mom. The older brothers are twins. The little brother is called NeNe. He is mischievous and lively – and he’s a magician. NeNe makes mud rabbits and blows life into them with his breath. And that's not all he can do ... In the end, NeNe becomes the sun and walks in the sky with a great big book under his arm. He illuminates everything he sees.
The poetic myth of Mexico's Tzotzil-Maya people tells the story of the beginning of time. The Tzotzil live in the highlands of the Mexican federal state of Chiapas and are considered direct descendants of the original Mayas.

The authors

Maruch Mendes Peres was born around 1960 in Chamula, one of the main Tzotzil communities in the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico. She has worked as a sheperdess, a weaver, potter, charcoal maker, and is a midwife, a healer, and singer. Mendes Peres is a respected community leader and has been engaged for many years in the founding and facilitating of a number of cooperatives, including Taller Leñateros in San Cristóbal des las Casas.

Ámbar Past was born in North Carolina in 1949. She immigrated to Mexico in 1974 and for almost 40 years she has made her home in the Highlands of Chiapas where she learned to speak Tzotzil Mayan. Past is the creator of the Mayan graphic arts collective Taller Leñateros in San Cristóbal de las Casas and has collected, recorded, and translated Tzotzil ritual songs and poetry. Past’s own poems and stories have been published in books, anthologies and magazines in Spanish as well as several other languages.

The illustrator

Tamana Araki was born in 1970 in Tokio where she later studied at the Musashino Art University. From 1993–94 she visited Mexico for the first time as a student, from 2004–2005 she was a guest scholar of the Art School of Mexico City. That is when she came in touch with the indigenous communities of Chiapas. Ever since, Araki has committed herself to the intercultural dialog between Mexico and Japan, and most of all for the recognition of the indigenous people of Mexico. She lives in New York.

Original: »NeNe Sol« © 2012 Ámbar Past und Maruch Mendes Peres (text) / © 2012 Tamana Araki (ill.)


Additional Materials

Teaching Materials (in German)