Guarani Indians

Topics: Guaraní, Suicide, Slavery Pages: 8 (2968 words) Published: April 5, 2005
The Guarani is an indigenous group living in the eastern lowland area of South America, with a population of about 80,000. It is believed that the Guaranis originated in the area of the Amazon River, then started to move south and inland ( They now reside in Paraguay, Bolivia, Argentina, and Brazil and their language is spoken by nearly 4 million people. ( There currently are three main sub-divisions of the Guarani tribes. Those are the Mbya, the AvaGuarani, and the Pay Tavytera, although they seem very cultured, they carry many of the traditional cultural elements of the land around them ( They cling to their religious traditions and feel that what the earth-touches symbolizes its ethnicity. One of the three main tribes, The Mbya, can be found in the northern area of East Paraguay. The Mbya identify with their peers, the same way as their ancestors used to, through the remembrance of the tambeao, which is a woven garment made by the ancestors; eating habits and linguistic expressions ( Despite the various types of pressures that the Guarani have faced and suffered over the past couple of centuries, and with the separation of their villages, the Mbya began to see themselves as a different group from the rest of the Guarani ( The Mbya have a good religious background, which allows them to see their peers as equals, and to fully respect the lands that surround them. The Guaycuru of the South maintained the southern area from Villeta until Corrientes. The Guaycuru were always in search of horses and the livestock, because of their inter-ethnical fights, in hopes to defend themselves. That was until the end of the eighteenth century. The last of the three main tribes is the Ava-Guarani, who can be found in the southern part of the Venezuelan Plains ( When the Spaniards established their place in Asuncion, the Guarani looked to form an alliance with the Spaniards ( They wanted to because their river was constantly being threatened by surrounding tribes and they figured it they formed an alliance with the Spaniards, it would help to protect them, their family and their land. In way to get the Spaniards to form an alliance with the Guarani, the Guarani gave them corn and other food, as well as servants. The Guaranis are farmers, cultivating mainly corn, sweet potatoes, manioc root, tea, etc. Their handicraft is known to portray the forest and its living beings, and their basket weaving is seen to portray repeating patterns of snake skins, leopards and other animals. Also, shapes of animals are also represented through the makings of wood and clay objects. As you can see, the Guaranis believe that the environment that surrounds them is an import factor in their life. . Spirituality is shown through their daily chores, but it is mainly expressed through music. Through their music, they portray the sounds of their environment, using instruments like flutes and percussions. Although their material culture was not advanced, Guaraní songs, dances, and myths make up a rich of folklore ( Their music represents a valuable part of their culture and reflects their spiritual belief However, the Guarani Indians are extremely silent. It is through their native language, with their legends, beliefs, music and expressions that it is possible to preserve their ancient knowledge ( The Guaranis are typically short and stout, light colored and average a little over five feet tall. The men of the tribes wear only g-strings, with labrets on the lower lip and feather crowns on their head; and the women wear woven garments that cover the whole length of their body ( The Guarani are widely known for the involvement in the early Jesuit missions of Paraguay ( The Jesuit missions were established to help protect the...
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