6811 - Tracking Guarani songs - Cosmopolitcs, polices and being heard through the Guarani choirs

Among the Guarani, an ample repertoire of chants follows the flows of people and knowledges that circulate among hundreds of villages. Songs are one of the primary channels for acquiring shamanic knowledge and agency for this population. Since the 1990s, some song modalities have also played a leading role in inserting Guarani living in Brazil’s South and Southeast into the world of cultural events and projects. These songs are performed by child and youth choirs in shows and for CDs. My aim is to explore the shifts caused by the exhibition of these songs in the relationships between the Guarani and the jurua (non indigenous), to whom this repertoire was forbidden. The strategy of ‘cultural invisibility’ once prevalent among the Guarani in this region - the most densely populated area of the country by the non indigenous - has been somewhat overtaken by efforts to display ‘Guarani culture’, providing it with recognizable and valorizable contours. A new generation of Guarani leaders began to take over the dialogue with the jurua, elaborating discourses as part of the on-going land claims, public policies and cultural events that flourished over the following decades. Not by chance many of the leaders of the first choirs transformed into young community chiefs, who today are among those leaders most responsible for promoting ‘culture’ and making demands to the jurua, thereby enhancing the power of the songs as a way to be heard on both the vertical and horizontal axis of existence.

Keywords: Guarani songs; indigenous projects; ¿culture¿, Guarani, indigenous leadership

Author: Macedo, Valéria (Unifesp (Universidade Federal de São Paulo), Brazil / Brasilien)


University of Vienna | Dr.-Karl-Lueger-Ring 1 | 1010 Vienna | T +43 1 4277 17575