Native Languages of the Americas: Guarani Indian Legends
This is our collection of links to Guarani folktales and traditional stories that can be read online.
We have indexed our Native American legends section
by tribe to make them easier to locate; however, variants on the same
legend are often told by American Indians from different tribes, especially if those tribes are kinfolk or neighbors to
Enjoy the stories! If you would like to recommend a Guarani legend for this page or think one of the ones on here
should be removed, please contact us and let us know.
Tupa (also known as
Tupâ, Tupavé, Tenondete, and other names): The Guarani creator god. In some Guarani
traditions, he is associated with the sun; in others, with thunder.
Tupa's wife, associated with the moon. Sometimes she is known as the "Mother of Heaven."
Rupave and Sypave:
The first man and woman, created by Tupa and Arasy.
Eldest son of Rupave and Sypave, he was the father of the Guarani people.
(also known as Japeusa): Tume Arandu's younger brother, he is the trickster character of
Guarani folklore, who does everything backwards. He is identified with the crab.
An evil spirit also created by Tupa. He kidnapped one of Tume Arandu's kinswomen,
Kerana, to be his wife, and together they gave birth to the terrible monsters of Guarani
Mbir, Zaguaguaya, Abaangui, and Tamoi:
These legendary characters come from the Guarayu tribe, not the Guarani tribe. However, Guarani
people who live near the Guarayus sometimes tell stories about these borrowed characters. Mbir is
a mythical worm that created the earth, and Zaguagua and Abaangui are gods of the sun and moon,
respectively, who created humans. Tamoi is a culture hero who taught people the arts of civilization.
(also known as Teju-Jagua, Yaguarú, Jaguaru, Teyu-Yargua, Yaguaruich, Ñaguaru, etc.):
A monster known as the water-tiger (or "jaguar-lizard.") In Guarani myths, this was one of the monstrous
children of Tau, all of whom were killed by Tume Arandu's sister Porâsy. However, Guarani folktales
still warn of such monsters (perhaps children of the original one,) usually known by the name
Yaguaru or Jaguaru. They are said to lurk in lakes and rivers and drag unwary humans underwater to their deaths.
(also known as Curupi, Corupira, Karai-pyharé, Cuarahy Jara, Kuarahy Jára, etc.):
Another of Tau's monstrous offspring, Kurupi was an ugly, hairy dwarf who would catch and
impregnate women. He was also killed by Porâsy, but similar dwarves are still told about in
Guarani stories today, usually by the name Pombero. This Pombero is less evil
than the original Kurupi-- he is more of a mischief-maker than a monster, and may even help
humans who leave gifts for him-- but women and girls still need to be careful not to get
impregnated when there is a Pombero around!