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Jun, 27/2022
(GMT -3)


The Guarani Natives 
Housing - Oga
The Chief (Cacique)
The first contact
Who invented the pill?
What is left?
click to enlargeGuarani is the generic name of an ethnic group that was once widespread in South America. Guarani is the word for "warrior". During the period of their greatest expansion, members of the nomadic Guarani race could be found in isolated tribes along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, from the River Plate to the Amazon River. The tribes regularly moved from one place to another because they believed that "paradise" was in this world and life, and they searched for Iwy Mara Ey (the land without evil), guided by their prophets and their Ava Tumpa (God man).
click to enlargeThe Guarani were animists and ferverently believed that the Universe was inhabited by benevolent sacred souls and by other dangerous animal souls, which were embodied in each living thing, whether animal or vegetable. They also believed that human beings had one or more souls (up to four). The most important one was considered to be of sacred origin and it was accompanied by another soul of animal origin. These two souls, which were in constant conflict with each other, defined the character of the person, but they also believed that there were supplementary protecting souls that acted as mediators in this fight.
Housing - Oga
click to enlargeThe Guarani lived in very big rectangular houses called Ogas, that could measure up to 50 meters in length. Each Oga could house more than 50 nuclear families. These nuclear families, under the orders of their chief, made up one large extended family. The Ogas, that could number between four and eight per villiage, were placed around a central square. Each member of the family had a hammock that was hung in his Oga and used as a bed.
The Chief (Cacique)
click to enlargeThe chief or Cacique, also called Abrubicha (male chief), had absolute hereditary power. The members of the tribe were required to give the Cacique food and maidens, as well as to build his house.
click to enlargeThe Guarani warriors performed many rites. One particularly interesting one involved eating the enemies killed during a battle. They were eaten because the Guarani believed that this was the best way to honour a dead warrior. (This anthropophagy rite was only carried out in some tribes.) The warrior´s weapons, the bow and arrow and the macana (a wooden sword-like weapon), were used during wars and for hunting.
click to enlargeThe Guarani were skillful pot-makers, with a wide expertise in making various types of pottery. They made big and small pots; the former were generally not quite tall, but very spacious, and were often used as burial urns where the crouched corpse was placed with all its belongings. They were also sculptors, carvers and weavers; working hard with great devotion.
The first contact
click to enlargeThe first contact between the Guarani and the Spaniards was made on February 26, 1528, when members of Sebastion Caboto´s expedition disembarked at a place near the present town of Itati, in the Argentine province of Corrientes, where they met Cacique Yaguareta´s tribe. This contact was pacific and beneficial for both parties. The Guarani tribes of the area received Spanish firearms in exchange for food and indian maidens. This kind of relationship was called tobaya (brothers-in-law). The Guaranis were polygamous and had no marriage contract.
Who invented the pill?
click to enlargeMany of the medical practices and medicinal plants used by the Guarani Indians were abominated by the Europeans. For example, the Guarani used a herb to avoid pregnancy and another to abort unwanted fetuses. Today we may be suffering because of what was suppressed in the past. We may never know just how much was lost in terms of Guarani knowledge of medicinal plants.
What is left?
click to enlargeNot much of the culture described above remains today; most of the surviving Guarani people are living on reservations scattered throughout South America. Some of these reservations are surrounded by cities, making it difficult to follow the old traditions. The language of the Guarani is still alive and widely spoken. It is rich in expressions, grammar, verb conjugation and moods. Today, poems, songs, newspapers are written in the language and even TV programs because of a phenomenon of acculturation, which took place that was unique to the colonized groups: the Spaniards learned the Guarani tong. Today, four small groups of Guarani remain out of all the original tribes the Ache Guayaki, Pai-Tavytera, Mbya-Apytere and Chiripa. The Pampidos continue to live in a more isolated society. Presently there are communities of the groups called Nivacle, Lengua, Toba, Maskoy, Maka, Ayoreo, Angaite and Sanapan. In 2011 Guarani was recognized as the official language of Paraguay, alongside Spanish.

Who was the first European to explore the falls? 

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