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Title: Letra de Índios
Title: Cultura escrita, comunicação e memória indígena
Title: nas Reduções do Paraguai
Title: (The Handwriting of Indians. Written culture,
Title: communication and indigenous memory in the
Title: Paraguayan Reductions)
Subject: South American history in the colonial period,
Subject: Jesuit Reductions,
Subject: Guarani culture and religion,
Subject: Literature of South American indigenous
Subjeckkhkht: languages
Authors Eduardo Neumann
Format: 16x23
Pages: 240
Publisher: Nhanduti Editora 2015
ISBN: 9788560990221
Fig. 10: Note written by Hilario Yrama (alcaide), on August 3rd, 1757, to the Guarani who remained in the Reduction of San Miguel. (Fonte: AGN, Sala IX, Legajo 6,10,2)

Título:Writing was born in the context of the rise of the urban societies that passed from prehistory to history. The cities felt quickly the need of intern organization, and writing played an important role. However, it is important to emphasize that the domination of writing codes was the privilege of a minority in these societies we call literate, because the overall part of the population continued illiterate.
Título:The same happened in the Jesuit-Guarani Missions of the Rio de la Plata basin. Among an indigenous population of more than 100.000 Guarani, only 60 Jesuits produced the huge majority of the known written documents. For a long time, historians knew half a dozen of letters written by Guarani people during the conflicts of the Guaranitic War. Some of them thought even that these letters had been written by the Jesuits themselves. With the recent research of Eduardo Neumann, a totally new panorama was revealed, and from the hazes of the past rose the figures of literate Guarani persons.
Título:We can ask ourselves if writing was implanted because of the needs of liturgy and diffusion of Christianity, political integration in the Spanish society or settlement administration. Or if it came up due to the needs to rationalize the transmission of information, from the administrator to his servants, or from the military chief (the king was the “mburuvicha guazu”) to his subordinates. Maybe it made the religious norms of Christianity and the laws of the Spanish State available to all citizens of the young urban centers, thus avoiding an exclusive dependence on the memory of the missionaries and chiefs of the cabildo. Certainly it brought up the designations e individualities of the first literate personalities among the Guarani.Títu
TítuloArno Alvarez Kern

TítTítuThe introduction of writing technology in the Guarani world constituted a revolution which profoundly transformed the ways of thinking and the social and political organization of the indigenous people. Evidently, such transformation happened in the context of a colonial regime that needed more efficient devices for the administration and the government of the population and the territory. The production and circulation of texts in the mission and to the mission furthered efficient transmission, preservation and actualization of Christian knowledge (a social memory) among the indigenous people. But there is also a paradox about this process, because the capacity to write and read texts, initially regulated by the Jesuits in a restrivtive manner, was quickly taken over by the Guarani who tried to subvert the forced control and to use it for their own benefits, inclusively as a weapon against their former impellers.
Título:After the expulsion of the Jesuits, the practices acquired were preserved in many regions of the Mission area, sometimes in a secularized way, but entirely assimilated and constantly recreated by the indigenous peoples.
Títu Guillermo WildeTítulo

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Eduardo Neumann

The Handwriting of Indians
Written culture, communication and indigenous memory in the Paraguayan Reductions
(Letra de Índios. Cultura escrita, comunicação e memória indígena nas Reduções do Paraguai)

Título:This is the most comprehensive study ever published on the indigenous writing practices in the Guarani Missions, that is, at the primordial times of Guarani writing. For us, as publishers and language specialists, it was a great pleasure to assist Dr. Eduardo Neumann at the last step of his doctoral thesis, its presentation as a book. We are sure that Letra de Índios is a precious contribution not only for academic research in several disciplines, but also for readers in general who may know about writing practices invented by Ancient East peoples, but ignore the existence of the old writings of the Amerindian peoples.
Título:Our interest was therefore to care, together with the author, for an utmost fidelity to the sources, the texts written by individual indigenous agents, and richly and visibly incorporated into the pages of this book. This carefulness is expressed in the presentation of the old texts in the nearest possible format to the original, avoiding transliterations e transcriptions, and in some cases even creating characters or signs that do not exist in modern typology. During history, the Guarani terminology passed through many changes in its spelling. To help the reader on his or her journey through the meanders of the Guarani spelling, we chose to standardize it. Therefore, in words and expressions not bound to citations, we standardized the spelling according to the latest edition of the “Tesoro de la lengua Guaraní” (2011), “Arte de la lengua Guaraní” (2011) and “Vocabulario de la lengua Guaraní” (2002) by Antonio Ruiz de Montoya. For words and expressions within citations, we preserved the original spelling, but it is followed by the version according to the above cited Montoya works, for instance: “aobebé rerequara / aoveve rerekuára”. Finally, wishing to highlight the beautiful and surprisingly careful indigenous calligraphy, we elaborated a typology based on the writings of Hilario Yrama and used it for the book’s title, as can be seen on the cover. Thus we hope to contribute to the valorization and appreciation of texts and writing forms of the primordial agents of our Amerindian history, during centuries not only forgotten, but above all despised and undervalued.
Título:The thematic structure of the research, its rigorous treatment of historic information, its samples of documents written by indios, its detailed indices of places and persons, carefully exhumed from the documental fragments, who include indigenous agents like Felicitas, Christobal Capyi, Rafael Paracatú, Tomas Potira, Alejandro and Miguel Mbaruari, Pasqual Yaguapó, Christobal Eranda, Hilario Yrama, Miguel Guañurüma, Juan Antonio Curiguá, Primo Ybarenda, Valentin Ybariguá and Crisanto Nerenda, its comprehensive bibliography and its focus make this book an indispensable reference work.
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