Guarani, Ava in Brazil

Guarani, Ava
Photo Source:  Aaron Sellars 
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People Name: Guarani, Ava
Country: Brazil
10/40 Window: No
Population: 8,900
World Population: 50,900
Primary Language: Guarani, Ava
Primary Religion: Christianity
Christian Adherents: 90.00 %
Evangelicals: 10.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Hispanic American, other
Affinity Bloc: Latin-Caribbean Americans
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

At one time the Avi Guarani were called the Chiriguanos or Chiriguano. They had a reputation for being warlike, even amongst themselves. They went so far as to attack the mighty Incans in around the time the Spanish Empire was making it’s mark in South America. They also attacked and even enslaved Spaniards, who had no qualms about killing them. After periodic rounds of rebellions, they were subjugated in 1892. They re-emerged at the Ava Guarani in 1970.

They live mainly in the departments of Canindeyú, Alto Paraná and San Pedro and to a lesser extent in the departments of Caaguazú, Central, Amambay and Concepción. They are distributed in 140 communities and 18 family nuclei. The Ava are a cross-border people, so part of their population can also be found in Brazil and Argentina.

What Are Their Lives Like?

They hunt, fish and gather honey, fruits and vegetables, and all work on farms. They raise animals and work on neighboring ranches.

Permanent deforestation and contamination with agrochemicals has force many of them to migrate to urban centers.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Among their traditions are: jeroky ñembo'e or sacred dance where the oporaíva transmit cultural values through mythical stories. The whole community participates, while the oporaíva or shamans sing, a women's choir marks the rhythm with the takuara hitting the ground and everyone dances and shares a fermented corn-based drink. The jeroky ñembo'e strengthens ties with divine beings but also between community members. Another important aspect is the medicine based on the knowledge of the therapeutic properties of different plants and the one based on the power of the oporaíva.

They have a ceremony called Mitakaraí, where they receive their inner names or forest names.

What Are Their Needs?

The Ava Guaraní want to recover ancestral lands and progress in the areas of education and economics. Many still live in dept peonage and forced labor.

Prayer Points

Pray for Jesus to be revealed to them as the only way, the truth and the life.
May they thirst for the word of God.
When trials come, may they turn to the true God for help and not to their old gods.
Pray for Christian leaders willing to work with them.

Text Source:   Joshua Project