Sunday, 1 November 2009

The Guaraní People

The Guaraní indigenous communities belong to no border because they precede all borders, because they precede the discovery of America. Las Guaranías live in the jungle in Northwestern Argentina but also in Brazil and Paraguay, among other regions. These pictures in particular were taken in a community near Iguazú, Argentina.

What was my Mirá Vos? Where to begin. They live completely in harmony with nature. Meaning, their beliefs stem from the earth that cradles them and are inspired from natural wonders like their neighbor, Iguazú Falls.
Las Guaranías kill for need, not for excess, and utilize the medicines that Nature provides. Usually living to about 110 years old, these people don't suffer from cancer or asthma because their communities don't affiliate with the processed, the plastic, or the perverse. They refuse the overstuffed, the oversized, the over-want. They aren't into consumerism; they are into peace, participation, and independence. They speak Guaraní, which sounds more like Japanese than anything else, because again, they precede Spanish in the region. An example of their positive outlook, the Guaraní language does not have a word that means, "no." They embrace simplicity, and they represent what modern society has lost: the basics. When talking with one of the community members, he explained to me that they really don't talk much. It's unnecessary. They communicate through nature and through music and through body language.

Las Guaranías do, however, hold assemblies and come together to talk out what they are feeling, how they are doing. Seeking and acting on the consensus of the community, the assemblies are moments for everyone to participate, not just indigenous leaders but the Guaraní people. These communities are an alternative to the society in which most of us exist. Yet, they're not in denial about their surroundings, using tourism to supplement what the land provides and to rebuild their losses since European Colonization. To safeguard their autonomy (dignity)? They maintain a distance.

Don't get me wrong, I understand their lives are hard, and I understand that I am not intimate with their history. But when they extended us a Welcome to share how they lived, some of the others thought it was all so sad. I disagree. I think my fellow visitors are just unexposed and unaware to any alternative outside of our tumultuous consumerism culture. The Guaraní people do it right: happily in harmony and harmoniously happy. Nature will prevail, and when it does, so will the these communities. They are, bit by bit, moving ahead, unified.

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