The Guarani people are a group of indigenous south-american natives, related through their culture and heritage, that inhabit a large portion of South America, including parts of Brazil, Paraguay, Urugay and Bolivia.
Their culture is wide-ranging and was prevalent before the arrival of the Spanish and Portuguese in South America. Even though European colonization attempted to separate, enslave, erase and extinguish them, their powerful language and culture lived on and they continue to be a very important cultural part of the countries they inhabit, specially in Brazil and Paraguay.
In Paraguay, Guarani is one of two official languages (the other being spanish) and they are both taught at schools. Paraguayans are sometimes referred to as Guarani, in reference to the pre-spanish origins of the people and in rural areas there are many who still practice Guarani rituals and habits.
In Brazil, although the Guarani language is not as well-known, a lot of Guarani stories and religious lore have become part of the culture as national fairytales and folklore. The Guaranis are depicted in many brazilian works of literature and film.
Unfortunately, a lot of Rural areas in Brazil still live under the rule of “coronelismo” where rich farmers and corrupt police officials disregard the law and terrorize those who get in the way of their business. The Guarani, whose claim to their lands is already often disregarded by the government, suffer attacks and forced expulsion from the ranch owners, who in many places use private armed militia to seize lands and call them their own.
Get to Know some of the Brazilian Native Populations, their art and culture: