Guarani are an indigenous original people of South America, sited between Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Argentina. In Brazil, our main area of interest, the Guarani population is spread across 8 states and forms one of the biggest indigenous populations of the country with over 80,000 people.
"The Guarani inhabit the last remaining forest galleries of the Atlantic Forest in Brazil. Their indigenous territories are on the frontline of defence against the rapacious expansion of industrial agricultural monocultures. Brazil’s Atlantic Forest has lost 92% of its forest cover, but through partnerships with other Guarani, the Ashaninka, and local organisations, the Guarani of Brazil are regenerating forests, replanting lost species, and defending biodiverse land from industrial expansion. In 2018 they won the Newton Prize for this work." - read more at Flourishing Diversity.
Image: Reproduction Comissão Guarani Ypyrupá Instagram
They are divided in three main groups: the Mbya, the Kaiowa and the Ñandeva.
Ever since our early days at Be The Earth, inspired by the Flourishing Diversity Summit - a series of listening sessions with indigenous peoples all over the world - under guidance of our dearest partners at Synchronicity Earth, we have been following the work of Comissão Guarani Yvyrupá (which we have lovingly named CGY) - - an indigenous led organisation that articulates their political rights to land and way of live, under the Mbya branch of the Guarani people.
"Our mission is to defend life, defend our land and keep the trees standing. But we need all peoples of the world joining this mission" says Werã Tupã Popyguá, one of the Commission's leader in their call for indigenous rights in August 2021.
"Nhandereko is how we, Guarani Mbya, call what the Jurua (the non indigenous peoples) call culture. But for us, Nhandereko is more than this. It is our whole way of being, our way of living, the way we educate our sons and daughters, how we see the world, how we relate to our spirituality. It is impossible for the Jurua to understand what the Nhandereko is, because it is only by living that one understands what it is.
But we want the Jurua Kuery to learn more about our culture - about the Nhandereko - so that the prejudice they have can diminish. From a young age, at school, on television and in books, the Jurua learn everything wrong about the Indian. They think that the real Indians are only the ones who lived in 1500, who walked around naked and were easily fooled by the Jurua. And that's not true.
These videos are for the Jurua to learn a little more about our world."
Here is a little story of the Guarani's traditional relationship to land and seeds, which we honour and respect. Little by little, always meaningfully showing up to our own role in this beautiful story called life, Be The Earth's team is growing its understanding of Nhandereko.