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Mbya Arandu Porã
Culture Point
Ribeirão Silveira Indigenous Land
Municipalities of Bertioga, Salesópolis and São Sebastião
São Paulo

The Culture Point Mbya Arandu Porã is located in the Ribeirão Silveira Indigenous Land since 2008. Coordinated by Carlos Papá and Cristine Takuá, it develops cultural strengthening activities with the community, especially young people. Their essential objective is to protect ancestral memory, taking care of traditional knowledge through encouraging spiritual healing practices, singing, dancing, storytelling, and workshops on painting, audiovisual production, photography and traditional Guarani architecture. Studies on medicinal plants are also held, concerning cultivation and management of a seedling nursery and walks in the forest to recognize fruit-bearing and medicinal native species.

At the Culture Point there are exchanges between villages and peoples, for mutual strengthening and to interchange experiences, as well as conversation circles with the elders, study on the rights of indigenous peoples regarding indigenous school education, indigenous health, territory and the search for the good life (or buen vivir).

Mbya Arandu developed some of its activities with the support of Maracá Institute, in partnership with Goethe Institute, and thus structured the physical spaces for the workshops. It is currently developing activities in partnership with Selvagem, a cycle of studies on life, such as the production of videos on Guarani culture and thinking, lectures, cycles and exchanges between indigenous schools.

Nhe'ery workshop at rec.tyty - Indigenous Arts Festival, 2021.
Photos: Carlos Papá.

The Guarani people have faced many challenges for centuries, such as the reduction of their territories (Tekoá), the deforestation of the sacred Nhë'ery and the imposition of Jesuit missions. However, they have a very strong spiritual resistance, which has allowed their language and spirituality to be preserved.

According to Carlos Papá, a group of youngsters cultivates the dream of activating and awakening the memory of some practices that have fallen dormant, such as ceramics, weaving and the cultivation of different types of crops. They also seek to strengthen knowledge related to childbirth, research into natural dyes and the management of native Atlantic Forest bees. 

There is a collective desire to organise a Guarani audiovisual memory. The idea is that this will be done by researching pre-existing collections and stimulating the creation of more content, encouraging the exchange of experiences between young people and elders in the territory.

Carlos Papá Mirim Poty belongs to the Guarani Mbya people. He lives in the village of Rio Silveira and is the guardian of the sacred Guarani words. Over the last few years, Papá has been blowing messages to the world about the importance of valuing and respecting the Nhë'ery, the Atlantic Forest. Through Ayvu Porã, the good and beautiful words, he transmits the philosophy and ancestral memory left by his grandparents. He has been working with audiovisuals for over 20 years, cultivating the memory and history of his people through cultural workshops with young people. He also acts as a spiritual leader in his community, as he is connoisseur of the plants that heal and guide our walk. He is a representative of the Guarani Yvy Rupa Commission and is also the founder and counsellor of the Maracá Institute. There have been countless projects and events in which he has participated and to which he has been invited in recent years, such as: Jogos Mundiais dos Povos Indígenas, in Tocantins, 2015; the cycle of debates Mekukradjá - Círculo de Saberes, at Itaú Cultural; various screenings, exhibitions and film festivals, such as Aldeia SP - Bienal de Cinema Indígena, Festival Tela Indígena, held in Porto Alegre, and Festival de Culturas Indígenas at Memorial da América Latina, in São Paulo. He was the curator of rec.tyty - Festival de Artes Indígenas. He took part as an artist in the Moquém-Surari exhibition at the São Paulo Museum of Modern Art (MAM-SP) during the 34th São Paulo Biennial, and is a collaborator with Selvagem - Cycle of studies on life.

Photo: Pauline Deschamps, 2019

Cristine Takuá is an indigenous teacher and artisan from the Maxakali people. With a degree in philosophy from São Paulo State University (Unesp), she was a teacher for 12 years at the Txeru Ba'e Kua-I State Indigenous School, which belongs to the Ribeirão Silveira Indigenous Land, located on the border of the municipalities of Bertioga, São Sebastião and Salesópolis, in São Paulo. She has experience in projects related to healing plants, such as Projeto Ka'agui Poty [Flores da Mata]. She is the director of the Maracá Institute and was the São Paulo representative on the Guarani Yvy Rupa Commission (2016/2019). She has created publications on the Guarani way of being and their educational practices. She works weaving thoughts between philosophy, arts, empowerment and resistance. Among the countless projects and events in which she has participated, she was the coordinator of Oca da Sabedoria during the Jogos Mundiais dos Povos Indígenas in Tocantins in 2015; curator of Mostra Audiovisual Indio. doc Audiovisual Exhibition, held at SESC Vila Mariana; founding member of Fórum de Articulação dos Professores Indígenas in the State of São Paulo (Fapisp); guest of the Tela Indígena Festival, held in Porto Alegre; curator of rec.tyty - Festival de Artes Indígenas; pedagogical consultant for the Moquém-Surari Exhibition, at the São Paulo Museum of Modern Art (MAM-SP), during the 34th São Paulo Biennial. Cris is also a collaborator with Selvagem. She has been coordinating the Living Schools project since 2022.

Photo: Pauline Deschamps, 2019