YVY-MARA EY - Mauricio Holc

" When the Spanish colonizers—500 years ago—came into contact with the native Guaraní inhabitants of South America, they inferred that their culture was not spiritual, since they did not have temples or churches. However, the Guaraní have always had a deep spiritual sense that runs their lives. Their temple is Nature itself."

Artist: Mauricio Holc
Project: Yvy-Mara Ey (Land Without Evil)



"This visual project aims to give an account of my experience in encounters, friendship and learning-ship over the past few years with the Mbyá Guaraní community “Tekoa El Chapá”, approaching it from a non-invasive perspective and putting the focus on collective memory, the sense of community and what it represents nature for them.

“For us, nature is our very life, our existence, our memory” 
Hilario Castillo - Mburuvicha (Political leader of the community)

The Mbyá Guaraní are the indigenous native people who inhabit southern Brazil, part of Paraguay and Misiones, northeast of Argentina (where I live), covered by rivers and an exuberant nature, with the most biodiversity in Argentina. Currently there are 120 Mbyá communities distributed in Misiones. Their mother tongue is “Mbyá”, from the Tupí-Guaraní tongue family. The word “mbyá” can be translated as “people” or “many people in one place.” In general terms, they preserve their traditional way of life called "tekoa", referring a territory where the "teko" or Guaraní “way of being” is practiced (agriculture, hunting and fishing, spirituality, etc)"



"The legacy of the Mbyá culture is transmitted orally and not in writing, their history and existence depend exclusively on collective and shared memory, emphasizing the “community”, fundamental for their survival.
To understand the worldview of the Mbyá people and their relationship with the land, it is necessary to talk about Ñanderú, “The Creator”, who gave them the nature, so that they could enjoy it and be part of it, everything they need is in it; the rivers, fish, fruits, plants and animals. The Mbyá are great environmentalists, for them the land is sacred and has no evil, it is used in a respectful and sustainable way.
In their language there is no specific word for nature, it is directly linked to their reality. For them “nature” is everything, from spirituality to vital sustenance, nature and their creator (Ñanderu) are the same. The tree, honey or a bird; They are manifestations of Ñanderu.

Most of the information for this project has been collected by me in informal interviews and oral conversations with community members."



© Mauricio Holc

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