Foto: Milton Guran/Agil, 1988

Guarani Mbya

  • Other names
    M'byá
  • Where they are How many

    Argentina5.500 (CTI/G. Grünberg, 2008)
    ES, PA, PR, RJ, RS, SC, SP, TO7.000 (Funasa, Funai, 2008)
    Paraguai14.887 (II Censo Nacional Indígena, 2002)
  • Linguistic family
    Tupi-Guarani

Introduction

We are a single family in origin - our bodies and way of being are the same, our language and our speech are the same (...) Our ancestors went to Brazil and our kin who came from Brazil are those who were left and they are true Guarani (Part of a speech of the political leader of the village of Pastoreo, Itapua, Paraguai, in 1997).

The Mbya identify their “equals”, in the past, through the remembrance of the common use of the same type of tambeao (a cotton garment that the ancestors wove), eating habits and linguistic expressions. They collectively recognize themselves as Ñandeva ekuéry (“all those who are us”). Despite the various types of pressures and interference that the Guarani have suffered over the centuries and the great dispersion of their villages, the Mbya fully recognize themselves as a differentiated group. Thus, despite the occurrence of marriages among the Guarani subgroups, the Mbya maintain a well defined religious and linguistic unity, which allows them to recognize their equals even though they live in villages separated by great geographical distances and surrounded by distinct national societies. With regard to the other Guarani subgroups who live in Brazil .