About this series: Aldeias Guarani Mbya na Cidade de São Paulo

The Guarani were one of the first indigenous peoples that the Europeans came into contact after arriving in South America over 500 years ago. Between the 16th and 18th century, millions of Indians were enslaved and killed by the European explorers. For those who survived, some were sheltered in villages built by Jesuits while others escaped deep into the jungle that was inaccessible for a long period of time.

In present day Brasil, there are roughly 35,000 Guarani Indians live in villages along the southern and southeastern coast. Another 50,000 can be found in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. Most of them continue to live according to their traditional customs despite outside modern day influences.

The Guarani in Brasil are divided in three main groups according to their dialect, customs and ritual practices. They are the Kaiova, the Nhandeva and the Mbya. There are a total of four Guarani Mbya villages located in São Paulo. Krukutu and Tenonde Porã in the Parelheiros district; Tekoa Ytu and Tekoa Pyau in the Jaraguá district.

This series of photographs documents the small population of Guarani Mbya Indians living in the Jaraguá district on the outskirts of São Paulo from a 2011 trip.

– Louis Au March 2012