We have been asked for the meaning of "Tumbala". Well, as many modern place names here in the region, there are different views and opinions about their meaning and interpretation. Tumbala, if you ask modern ch'oleros, comes from tyun ("round stone", the modern version of Ch'olan tuun) and bala (Spanish for bullet), so together it mean to locals "the stone bullet" used for shotguns. This is quite similar to another Maya-Spanish interpretation, namely the name of the town of San Juan Chamula. Here the interpretation of the name is ch'am (to take) and mula (the mule).
I personally don't feel that these are correct translations, but more modern interpretations. As for Tumbala, I can accept the first part of tyun. The rest need further investigation. I will get back to it in future posts about local place names!