Being indigenous: the concept of indigeneity, a conversation with two Ayoreo leaders

Mateo: We heard about that word, ‘indigenous’, for the first time in 1964. The white people used this word for the indigenous. It is a white people’s word. Only much later I started to grasp its meaning, but not even today do I know exactly what it means ...

If somebody says [to me] ‘you are indigenous’, [then it] has little meaning to me. If I am asked [directly like that], I say ‘yes’ ... but the person asking does not know what indigenous I am. If he says: ‘you are indigenous’, well, I cannot deny, or say that I am a Paraguayan, or that I am a German, I have to say ‘yes, I am indigenous’ ... because I more or less know what he means [by that term], but in fact, I do have an origin, a name ... it is ‘Ayoreo’.


Diverse cognitive abilities, and our own past

Are there forgotten cognitive faculties which belong to us? Could we retrieve them? (this reflection came to me when writing parts of my book)


Explaining myself in September 2017 – An interview by Slow Words

Slow Words, an online medium published in Italy, choose to interview me with questions about my biography, my opinion about Latin American politics (a rather impossible question!), and our work with isolated indigenous groups through Iniciativa Amotocodie. One may be asked these same questions over and over again at different times in one´s life. I like being asked: it is an obligation to say again what has been explained before, only this is now, and the outcome always brings unexpected discoveries, and insights that are new, also to myself.


8th of March, 2010, in the North of the Gran Chaco

Written in 2010. Unluckily, this text has not lost its urgent actuality. With every year going by and with the continuation of the accelerated deforestation in the North of the Paraguayan Chaco, the menaces against the Ayoreo women and men, and the children and youths of the isolated groups, and against their world, have become more and more extreme.


What the Spirit told Ibegua

Ibegua is an indigenous women belonging to the Ayoreo of the North of the Paraguayan Chaco. One night, she had a vision in which a spirit showed her the future. The spirit also said she should share this vision with other Ayoreo, but also with non-indigenous people. - It is good to read this vision with the special care a dreamt inspiration and the voice of a spirit deserve.


The Chaco – Toward a long-term sustainability: conceptual contributions

"The Gran Chaco is a living organism. Inhabitants, nature, courses of water, climate, the sky. Let’s imagine it like a person." The present text, written in 1996, is an approach to the Chaco and some of its fascinating characteristics. The destruction it has been subjected too over the last decades makes it even more important to remember the features of its identity and to listen to its teachings.


The Case of the Ayoreo

A 40-page notebook publication with testimonies, maps, photographs and commentary texts by Ayoreo leaders and myself. Addressed especially to the Paraguayan public opinion and politicians, but also intended for international campaigning and advocacy.