Tupi Guarani Culture In Brazil

The term Tupi-Guarani is designed to define one of the ten language families of the Tupi trunk.

The other linguistic trunks identified in Brazil are the Jê and Arauak trunks, from which the set of languages ​​of the indigenous peoples that inhabited Brazil at the arrival of the Portuguese colonists derive.

Tupi originated from the Tupinambá language, which was incorporated by the colonizers and missionaries, being adopted as the General Language of Brazil.

Guarani is still spoken today by the Guarani, Guarani-Kaiowá, Guarani-ñhandeva and Guarani-M’byá peoples.

Today, Brazilian Indians still share 150 languages ​​and dialects and part of the repertoire that has already been incorporated by Portuguese, such as manioc, Curitiba, Aquidauana, Iguaçu, tapioca, among others. Before the arrival of Pedro Álvares Cabral’s fleet there were at least a thousand.

Keeping their language, customs and social organization, the indigenous peoples of Brazil are called nations and not tribes, a popular and incorrect name. There are similarities among the many peoples, but the differences stand out.

Kaiapó Indian. Funai Guide


The indigenous culture includes language, social and political organization, their rituals, myths, art, housing, cosmology and how to relate to the environment.

See also Jurupari

Pataxó Headdress


The Brazilian Indians are polytheists , but his way of relating to religion has changed drastically with the influence of colonization, the Catholic orientation and monotheistic.

They believed in the forces of nature, in the divinity of animals, plants and man himself interacting with all the elements.

Through oral tradition, they passed on customs and guidelines for life and death rituals. Among the remarkable life rituals are the passing celebrations, which marked the transition to adulthood.

The common characteristic of Brazilian indigenous peoples with regard to religion is shamanism. The shaman is responsible for conducting the rituals.

Among the Tupi-Guarani peoples, the shaman is called a shaman, the person who deals with the connections between living beings, nature, living and dead humans.


The Brazilian indigenous art is plural and the preparation is not open to all. Since the social hierarchy, gender and age differences are respected when handling materials that will result in decorative objects or adornments for rituals.

Feathers, braided vegetable fibers, clay, stones and pigments prepared by hand are characteristic of indigenous art.

Indigenous pottery

Vegetable fiber (straw) braided


Most Indians in Brazil maintained the tradition of collecting and hunting food. Agriculture was applied only rudimentary and some small animals were domesticated, such as the capybara.

Most of them were polygamous in their social organization . The situation changed with colonization due to Catholic religious thought. They lived and many still live in community.

The dwellings can be collective or individual, depending on the people. The best known layout is circular, with a central space for the development of rituals and parties.

Rooms are arranged in a circle and the center hosts rituals and parties

See also: Formation of the Brazilian People: history and miscegenation

Guarani Indians

Guarani Indians are among the first to have contact with the colonizers. They are divided into three groups: kaiowá, ñandeva and m’byá.

The name Guarani means person. Today, these people inhabit nine Brazilian states, in addition to Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay. In Brazil alone there are at least 51 thousand.

Although they are all Guarani, they have differences in the way of speaking, in religious behavior and in social organization. Today, the largest group to live in Brazil is the kaiowá, which means “people of the forest”.

Hunters and gatherers believe that the land is an extension of their own souls and this is one of the points of the land tenure that exists in Mato Grosso do Sul .

In the state, located on the border of Bolivia and Paraguay, indigenous people claim ancestral lands that the Brazilian government handed over before the 1988 Constitution to landowners.


by Abdullah Sam
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