Folklore of Paraguay - Folclore de Paraguay
The folklore of Paraguay is the result of the syncretism of the traditions, beliefs and customs of Creole - Guaraní - Gaucho origin . The study of Paraguayan folklore is associated with the different cultural aspects and with spiritual and material knowledge, applied in the different moments of community life. Information that contains ideas and values of a human group, such as the set of beliefs , ceremonies , rites , dances , music , musical instruments , is transmitted from generation to generation through time, orally or in writing.legends , stories , crafts , clothing , drinks , gastronomy , literary compositions , kabbalahs , jokes , sayings , sayings , customs and superstitions of the local culture, etc., which make up the shared culture or traditions of a people and are preserved in human groups, by transmission from parents to children, undergoing constant changes according to memory, immediate need or the purpose of the transmitter.
The oral dissemination of Guarani legends and mythology are also part of the Paraguayan folkloric manifestation. The history of folklore or folklore is particularly related to folk music, since man has always invented songs and dances that accompany his sorrows and joys regardless of the activity he performs. Among the most important characteristics of folkloric events, we find that it is: traditional, vulgar, common, typical of common or simple people, of the common people, it is anonymous, it is by an unknown author, it is functional, it fulfills a function, it is utilitarian and it is spontaneous. . [ 1 ]
Paraguayan music is one of the most particular aspects of the country's culture since it is the only country in South America where almost the entire population speaks or at least understands the native language, but its music is totally European in scope. This is due to the influence that the Jesuits had during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries when noting that the Guaraní had good musical talent, since in this way they internalized them in European music, although they never composed. Since ancient times, the Guarani have used primitive wind and percussion instruments, mainly reed flutes, whistles, rattles and bells. Guitars and harps, introduced by the Spanish, are the basic instruments of contemporary Paraguayan music. One of the oldest styles of Paraguayan popular music is thepolka , payada , ballads and other songs that preserve much of the history and traditions of the country. The guarania , a song with a fluid lyrical melody introduced at the beginning of the 20th century, is the first variation of the traditional folk melody, already cultivated since then.
The most popular instruments are the Paraguayan harp and the guitar , although according to the region, and to broaden their musical horizons, there are artists who incorporate accordion , tambourine , bongo or even marimba . The harp is widely used and is known in many countries around the world. The Polka, the Guarania and the New Songbook are the most popular musical expressions; the rhythms of the first genre are an invitation to dance. The second, developed by José Asunción Flores around 1920, is rather slow and melancholic. While the third has as its exponent Maneco Galeano andRolando Chaparro. The preferred compositions to be played on harp, guitar or requinto are the onomatopoeic and classic ones "Pájaro Campana", "Tren Lechero", "Carreta Guy", "Pájaro Chogüí", "Galopera", "La Catedral de Mangoré", among others. . Now, when we speak of folkloric projection, we speak of a cultural heritage that takes the spirit of the folkloric, but does not fit into the purely folkloric, for lack of some characteristic to consider it as such, such as, for example, being anonymous, orally transmitted, etc. The dances inspired by a popular character or a folkloric event, whose choreographies are created by a professional are of folkloric projection. The folkloric projection contributes to the diffusion of the folkloric facts, but it must have a real, true foundation,
Paraguayan dance is the product of the set of artistic expressions of Creole and Guarani origins that were adopted in the Paraguayan stage culture to express the cultural heritage through indigenous musical rhythms such as the Paraguayan polka . Traditional dances have their own music and choreography, they are the cultural heritage of the people. It has an interesting variety of traditional dances whose roots are the product of the mixture of two cultures: the European and the Guaraní , which happened first through the Spanish-Guaraní syncretism , and later with the introduction of new styles brought byMadame Lynch and other immigrants during the mid- 19th and early 20th centuries .
The origins of the amalgamation of dances introduced in Paraguay dates back to the end of the government of José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia . Dr. Francia, one of the people who led the independence of Paraguay in 1811, proclaimed himself supreme dictator in 1814 whose mandate would culminate until his death in 1840. After a series of extensions, in 1844 the Congress appointed Carlos Antonio López as president of Paraguay , thus becoming the first constitutional president of the republic .
During the López government, many professionals hired from Europe arrived , who introduced important changes in the customs of the Paraguayans, among whom European songs and dances predominated in art . Thanks to this, some of the dances that were practiced in the country acquired new characteristics, and gave rise to several of the current traditional dances. In this period the dances reached an important emergence. For example, the quadrille , originally English that later passed to Spain , exerted great influence in the formation of dances such as: the Pericón , the Cuadrilla , the Cielito, Chopi and others. The most practiced dances at the time were the Golondriana, the Londón Karapé, the Polca and the Mazurca .
During the government of Francisco Solano López (1862-1870), in the early years the enthusiasm for the festivities remained firm and, in them, dances occupied the first place. At the beginning of the Great War, dance parties were still organized to maintain the animation in the different camps. Solano López himself participated in the crowd accompanying Madame Lynch , who was also an enthusiastic dancing leader of the different war camps. The most danced of the time were the Cuadrilla , the Chopi , Londón Karape and Mamá Cumandá .
The European- style clothing that was used during the nineteenth century were tight pants, shirts with ruffles on the chest and lace at the cuffs, the long jacket and the wide silk sash at the waist. The ladies wore dresses with a fitted waist, short or long sleeves, highly embellished necklines with ruffles and crinolines , and they wore looped hairdos and feather or bow arrangements.
At present, Paraguayan dance has evolved a lot, there are significant choreographic creations of great skill and it is thanks to the rhythmic sense and flexibility that Paraguayans possess. In the last decades the dances in the country began to be much more strict than normal, a phenomenon that is seen in almost all schools, especially with those of the gallop type , dance of the bottle and dance of the pitcher.
Forms of grouping
- Galopera Dance : without fixed, improvised, traditional choreography and is the manifestation of the people. Patricia Florido was one of those who invented a popular dance called malagueñas.
- Dance of the Bottle : it is the only individual dance that is in force. It requires great balance since this style requires the dancer to perform the basic steps carrying from one to ten or more bottles superimposed on the head.
- Dance in pairs : with fixed music and choreography. Loose couples participate and in some cases independent. Examples of this style are: Chopi, or Santa Fe, Londón Carapé, Cazador, Solito, la Golondrina.
- Folk-inspired dance : They do not have a fixed choreography. The author creates the choreography using creativity and taking into account the rhythm , the lyrics and the characteristics of each music.
Clothing and suits
Traditional clothing constitutes a cultural and artistic heritage in Paraguay, because some of them are ornamented with vernacular lace and embroidery techniques, such as the ao po'i and the ñandutí . However, clothing may vary by city or department, due to foreign or regional influences that intermingle with local customs.
In men's attire it is common for men to wear items such as the pirí hat or wicker hat , black pants, a black or colorful sash, poncho , black shoes, a white ao po'i shirt with embroidery, and a handkerchief tied around the neck. front, white, black, red or blue. When it comes to folkloric projection dances, shared in common with other countries, there are localities in Paraguay where they wear other costumes for certain festivals, such as the Mennonite community and the southern gaucho community , which wear Cowboy or Gaucho outfits for the folkloric performances.
Various outfits are used for female attire, depending on whether it is a traditional dance or a folk dance. Some of them are the white blouses made of ao po'i with sleeves of fair lace; long, wide skirts with one or two ruffles and lace trimmings, which are prepared by washing them in starchy water; and hair ornaments such as carnations , reseda , jasmine and others. Regarding the accessory for the feet, it should be noted that there are some dances that are performed without shoes. By extension, the female costume has the following accessories: jewelry, rosaries of gold and coral, ring with seven strands, hoops with three earrings, comb and necklaces.
- Zapateo and Malambo : The malambo , typical of the gaucho culture , is interpreted solo or together. At least two variants are known: the traditional one, interpreted with the typical gaucho outfit ; and the Paraguayan zapateo, used with local folk garb, and using whips against the ground.
- Valseado or polka waltz : It is danced by performing the basic step, but with a smooth movement of the body. Slow music is used for this style . It consists of 7 parts: * Greeting; * Waltz (this step is only performed by males); * Windlass; * Mazurca, where the linked pairs are located in a large circle to perform the mazurka around the room with twenty bars, and then finish in the sector of each lady; * Slow waltz; * Waltz (this step is only performed by males); and the * Greeting. The last turn is performed only by the ladies, since the men use that time to advance with natural steps to the site of their respective partners, where they bow on the knee as a final greeting.
- Golondriana : This dance belongs to the group of loose or independent couples. As its name comes from swallow , its movements are characterized by smoothness, thus imitating the movements of the swallow. It has its own music and has varied rhythms. It has two versions and they do not differ much from each other, they all have the same parts of the original structure.
- Gallop : The gallop does not have its own choreography , therefore choreographies can be created according to taste and creativity.
- Cielito chopí or Santa Fe : Its name derives from a very common bird called Chopi in Guaraní . It is the thrush in Spanish and is characterized by its Chopi song . Santa Fe is how it is known in Argentina and that is how it is known in the country until today. This dance has its own music.
- Londón Karapé : A current states that it receives its name from the characteristics of its choreography, firstly because of the way it squats and secondly because of its popular character, hence the expression in Guaraní farra karape . It has its own music. There are two choreographic and musical versions. One of the music used is those compiled by Juan Max Boettner and Julián Rejala .
- Mazurca : It is a dance with rhythm that comes from Europe and that, over time, acquired its own characteristics in Paraguay . It is also called the Creole mazurka . This dance has three beats just like the waltz .
- Manguaco : It is a very old dance. Its name comes from the Spanish dance called manguaco. It is a group dance, for its interpretation three couples (men and women) take part. It consists of 8 figures: * Greeting; * Chain of Waltz steps; * Bound dance and bullfighting; *Chain; * Bound dance and bullfighting; *Chain; * Bound dance and bullfighting; and the * Final salute.
- Paraguayan polka : It is a dance of independent linked couples. Its name comes from the European polka that emerged around 1830 in Bohemia . It spread, and, like other dances, reached the American continent and consequently Paraguay. Although it has foreign roots, it is the result of an amalgam of Spanish melodies and rhythms that over time acquired its own characteristics. The customs printed on it gave the necessary tone to transform it into a type of music and dance that reflect the peculiar characteristics of our dance. It's a dancefast, lively and cheerful, where various forms of dancing the polka coexist, according to rhythm, style and movement. It should also be noted that the Paraguayan polka has a 6/8 time signature in its rhythm.
Culture of the pojhá ñaná
The culture on the consumption of pojhá ñaná is present in all social strata of Paraguay. [ 2 ] It is a Guaraní expression that means "medicinal herbs", and is associated with the consumption of these herbs in mate and tereré , but also in tea , carrulim and other forms of medicinal or purely folk infusions . Its consumption is associated with the medicinal, diuretic, and tranquilizing properties that any of these herbs can offer, and each of them is consumed for a specific occasion.
In general, its acquisition is accessible, since in each town in the interior of the country it is common to find stalls on the sidewalks that sell these weed remedies. For tereré herbs, it is common to find fresh herbs in "mortar" stands (the person in charge of crushing the weeds), while for mate, dry and dehydrated herbs are sought, which are obtained in sophisticated herbal shops or in stalls. herbalists found in neighborhood markets. All these plants are classified according to their medicinal virtues.
Culture of the ñandutí
The ñandutí is a handmade lace that was limited only to the orthodox, but today it is found in numerous accessories such as thermos, dresses, pictures, fans, tablecloths, curtains, etc. that has gained space in other foreign cultures and constitutes today one of the most representative ornamental symbols of Paraguayan folklore. [ 3 ]
Craft tradition of the lined thermos
The tradition of thermos lining consists of the personalized decoration of mate and tereré equipment. In general, each user impregnates his name accompanied by an academic professional title, or carries the colors of his favorite club, and a personalized photograph. It is made of leather, leatherette and imitation leather. [ 4 ] For this reason it is said that it is easy to identify a Paraguayan in the rest of the world by the fact of carrying some of these handmade equipment of mate or tereré. [ 5 ]
The Encarnaceno Carnival , also called "Incarnated Corsicans", is the largest national festival of public interest held in the city of Encarnacion , and the largest carnival party in the country. They are held five nights a year ( Saturdays ) in the months of January and February, usually before the beginning of Lent and according to weather conditions. Since 2014, the carnivals have been held at the Centro Cívico Sambódromo , located between Avenida Costanera and Avenida Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia, on Calle Gral. Aquino. It has a capacity for approximately 12,000 people.
In addition to being a party , it is also a competition for the neighborhood clubs and floats that participate in the Corsicans, which are qualified by juries, depending on the category in which they compete, for the queen category, ambassador, best comparsa, best float, muse, best musical band, etc. They make up a total of five comparsas (clubs), with around 60 to 80 participants and four floats (neighborhood clubs), each with a different allegory and they have one hour of time to cross the sambadrome once the act has begun. The Carnival museum is located in the same Sambadrome, under the authorities' box, where you can see the history of Carnival along with the winners of each year.
The international folk festivals are gradually gaining their space in the main towns. The case of Ciudad del Este consists of adding cultural events to become a tourist hub in this area. This is the first International Folklore Festival held on 25 of August of 2019 in Lake Amphitheater with shows of dances artistic groups from Paraguay and neighboring countries. According to Miguel Moraez, promoter of the event with the support of civil and public associations, during this first festival with artistic presentations, a tour of the city was carried out in parallel on a panoramic bus to promote tourism through art. [ 6 ]
Among the invited national artists, were the harpist Hugo Villalta, and the "International Dance Group Anga Rory" of the teacher Lilia Doldán de Asunción , whose dancers hold the national record of bottles on the head (of 18 bottles) and other schools of dance of this region. The guests from Brazil were the "Compañía de Danzas y Artes Folklóricas de Amazonas, Encanto Vermelho". The Directorate of Culture of the local commune was in charge of the national gastronomy fair as part of the celebration of folklore.
The colorful amphitheater was even more colored by the performances offered in that edition, on Sunday from 4:00 p.m. to night, with the lake as a background. According to the vice-president of the Bureau of Tourism of Ciudad del Este, Miguel Moraez, the event arose with the idea of awakening and raising awareness about the importance of maintaining cultural memory, traditions, dances and lyrical singing as tools to promote tourism development from Alto Paraná . The idea is to turn Ciudad del Este into a cultural and tourist destination, and turn the Republic Lake into the meeting point for tourists and residents.
Oral literary tradition
The Paraguay has a lot of legends and myths which are the special ingredient in the folklore of this country are living samples of beliefs, art and imagination of the people of the area. Likewise, they are the main themes that manifest the literary beauty of the peoples. These legends were created to argue hard-to-explain facts. Among the best known legends are: "The legend of Yerba Mate", "The Legend of Ñandutí" among others.
In addition to being a country rich in fauna, flora, crafts and music, it is also exquisite in the cultural sphere. This land has myths and legends that make it even more exotic and mystical. The Guarani mythology presents a great depth and variety, but most important of these myths and legends is that not only are purely fictional characters, difficult to imagine and adapt to everyday life but do not have powers that exceed the limit of that it could be real.
The Guaraní myths are something more incredible, ugly animals, people who suffer curses, stories that can be adapted to everyday life. The Guaraní myths are part of the national treasure, they start from a special nation that resulted from the union of Americans and Europeans, that is, Guaraní and Spaniards. Among the best known legends are: the legend of Yerba Mate, the legend of Karau, Ñandutí , Tupí and Guaraní, Tupá jha Añá (God and the devil), Ka'a, Urutaú, the legend of the Virgin of Caacupé and others more.
Poetry and Payada
The payada , which is the art of improvising verses typical of gaucho shows , was declared a Mercosur Cultural Heritage in a ceremony in Asunción . This practice is common in countries such as Argentina , Uruguay , Paraguay and southern Brazil , countries where the Jesuits built the Guaraní missions . [ 7 ]
The payada is a guitar interpretation, it is a type of musical improvisation in verse, generally accompanied by the music of a guitar, which is deeply rooted in the folklore of the Southern Cone . It is a song that became popular in the gaucho culture as a way of presenting competitors in horse dressage shows or other types of competitions. Paraguay rescues the tradition of the payada every year in the celebrations of the southern city of Santiago de Misiones , where it mostly revives its gaucho identity.
The payada, the Jesuit missions, the temples and towns that the religious of this order founded in the 16th and 17th centuries to evangelize the indigenous people in areas of Argentina , Bolivia , Brazil , Uruguay and Paraguay also became part of the Cultural Heritage of the Mercosur . This is due to the fact that the Jesuit Missions system is part of an inheritance among the five component countries of Mercosur, since they have in common ethnographic, historical, landscape, urban, architectural, artistic and archaeological values.
From the legend of Taú and Keraná the 7 Guaraní myths were born: Teju Jaguá , Yasy Yateré , Moñái , Mbói Tu'i , Kurupí , Ao ao , Luisón . Other famous myths are Yaguareté Avá (The Indian tiger) or “tigre-capiango”, Póra (ghost), Ka'aguy póra (ghost of the forest), Mbói Tata (fire serpent), Pirañú (fish of the field), Kuarahy Ra 'and (Son of the Sun), Pombero , Yaguarú and Bad vision. [ 8 ]
Keraná, which means sleepyhead, was a beautiful woman who slept all day, lived in a tribe and was the daughter of Marangatú. Taú, was an evil spirit who fell madly in love with Kerana. In order to be with her, he transformed into a young man and tried to kidnap her. Angatupyry, the spirit of good created by Tupã (God), stepped in to defend her. Taú and Angatupyry had a fight that lasted 7 days and 7 nights in which Angatupyry finally won. Taú was exiled by Pitayovái (god of valor and war). In desperation, Taú kidnapped Keraná and for this Tupã curses him. Taú and Keraná had 7 children with the appearance of phenomena: the 7 monsters of Guaraní mythology .
Ka'a lived near the missionary jungle. She was beautiful and young, and she cared fondly for her old father, an almost blind Indian who had refused to follow the course of the nomadic tribe to which they belonged. "I no longer have the strength to change my dwelling, he explained. I only ask you to take my daughter, whose youth deserves the company of other young people and not this loneliness . " But the young woman said: "I will be where you are; I will be your daughter and your son at the same time: I will learn to hunt like a man and cook like a woman . " So it was. Caring and loving, Ka'a soon learned to fish, hunt and gather the fruits of the dense jungle where they had been left. His father, grateful, begged Tupã to reward the young woman for so many efforts.
One day, in the house, a man with a pilgrim's habit appeared, who was none other than Tupã himself. Ka'a received him generously, hunted and cooked a delicious acuti for him, and prepared a comfortable bed for him. The next day, the pilgrim prepared to leave: "I will not leave without rewarding you , he said. I will make a new plant sprout that will bear your name, and you will be, from now on, the immortal Ka'a Jarýi (forest fairy)" . Saying this, God gave birth to yerba mate , whose refreshing and therapeutic virtues are known to all who consume it.
According to legend, Karãu was a young man who, on a night when his mother was very ill, he went out to find remedies for her. But on the way he found a party and there he stayed to dance with the most beautiful lady of the night, promising himself that he would only stay for a moment. At midnight, when the fun was starting to increase, a friend approached him and began to talk very seriously. He told her to stop dancing, that she was bringing the news that her mother had died. The young man, as if he did not care what he had heard, asked for the music to continue playing, as he would continue dancing, and told his friend that the one who died has already died and the one who is alive is still alive, and that there would be time to cry.
At dawn, the young man asked his lady where her house was, to which the woman replied that her house was far away, but that she could go visit her on days when she misses her mother. After hearing these words, the young man realized what he had done and repented. She left the place crying bitterly, repeating that her mother has already died. He said that from now on he would wander aimlessly through the estuaries and in those places he would forever dress in mourning. Because he was a bad son, Tupã (God) punished him and turned him into a black bird and he would be condemned to cry at the edges of streams.
Legend has it about a very beautiful and kind lady named Samimbí. Two men, brave Guarani warriors , were fighting for her love. One of the young men was called Yasyñemoñare (son of the moon) and the other Ñanduguazú (ñandú). One night when Yasyñemoñare was begging Tupã (God) to help him win the love of Samimbí, he saw a kind of silver-colored lace on top of a huge tree, it was perfect and the moonlight made it even more beautiful . This dazzled Yasyñemoñare and so he climbed the tree to lower it and give it to his beloved.
At that moment, Ñanduguazú also passed by, and when he saw that beautiful fabric, he was furious with jealousy when he knew that his enemy would get it before him. Without thinking twice, he shot an arrow at her. Yasyñemoñare fell to death on the spot. Then, quickly Ñanduguazú climbed the tree, but when he wanted to take it, only the tissue remained in his fingers that broke instantly, verifying that it was a spider web.
Remorse haunted Ñanduguazú for several months, until one day his mother managed to extract the terrible secret from him. The woman then asked her son to take her to that tree. This is what Ñanduguazú did, and when they both arrived at the place, they saw with surprise that in that same place there was a fabric identical to the previous one.
The woman, wanting to console her son, who since Yasyñemoñare's death has wandered aimlessly through the jungle, decided to give him a fabric similar to that of that tree. For this, the old woman began to study with great attention the coming and going of the spiders while they spun with such perfection until they achieved that lace. Then she took her knitting needles and began to copy the circles and lines that the spiders drew, and using the white strands of her hair as thread, she managed to reproduce that delicate and unique fabric . [ 9 ]
It is associated with the locals of the city of Areguá . [ 10 ] The legend tells of the mysterious appearance of the ghost of Immaculate Conception, one chiperita luqueña selling their products at railway stations Luque and Areguá. [ 11 ] To bustle he had to use the same train from the station. The story attributes an unusual beauty to it, enhanced even more by its simplicity and innocence. But tragedy chose precisely her and one day, supposedly some train guards or Lopez's escorts, assuring her that they would buy all her sparksThey took her to the shore of the lake to cheat and sexually violate her. The crime ended with the young woman hanged with her own hair. [ 12 ] After this, many stories and tales of apparitions of his banshee passed through the central inhabitants , who support Limpia's staunch decision to take some revenge. It is presumed that this soul would rest only after killing seven men. The popular story assures the appearance of Limpia Concepción before the men who prowled around Lake Ypacaraí , who would inexplicably die two weeks later, after having suffered a lot.
The legend of the Urutaú lament is based on a beautiful Indian woman whose parental selfishness prevented her from realizing her dream of love. [ 13 ] This impediment was due to the fact that the man she loved was a prisoner of war , a prisoner who fell into the hands of a Guaraní chief, who was the father of the young woman. Neither tears nor prayers nor threats had served to twist the chief's definite and definitive will. Within the popular Paraguayan jargon, the prisoner was a man of proven courage, he was a cuimbaé (boy), self-absorbed and distinguished from among many men of the tribe. Faced with the obstinacy of the father, in despair the Indian throws herself into the jungle one night. The father consults with the Payéof the tribe, who with the clairvoyance granted by the yerba mate concoction , informs the sad chief about the place where the daughter was.
Several emissaries went in search of the young Indian woman. [ 14 ] Insensitive and mute, the Indian woman appeared before the emissaries in an ecstatic way in the contemplation of a distant vision. As the only answer to the requests of those who came to look for her, the beautiful Indian turned her back on them and went back into the jungle. In order to obtain the explanation and the recipe for such an attitude, the intervention of the Payé was again required , who discovered that the pain of love had numbed and silenced the maiden. The Payé assured that only another great pain would be able to rekindle his dormant feelings, and thus, the emissaries set out again in their search but this time accompanied by the same diviner of the tribe.
The story of no imagined family tragedy served to awaken the sleepy beautiful Indian . [ 15 ] She was not moved by the news she was given of the alleged death of her father and mother. Faced with the desperation of her requesters, she continued mute and with her eyes open and fixed in the distance. They were alternatives, and it was impossible to prove the impotence or falsity of the same Payé, so when all were prisoners of despair, the soothsayer came to India to say, to the ear, the message would work the miracle: Cuimbaé is dead! ...And then that insensitive and mute being vibrated in a desperate paroxysm. And before the mythical terror of the emissaries, his trembling and aching body suddenly transformed into a bird that, with a moan, took off into flight and was lost in the jungle.
- Legend has it that in a tree
- a Guarani Indian was perched
- that startled by a cry from his mother
- he lost support, and falling he died.
- And that between the maternal arms
- by strange spell he became chogüí.
- Chogüí, chogüí, chogüí, chogüí
- singing is, looking there
- crying and flying away.
- Chogüí, chogüí, chogüí, chogüí
- how cute it is, how beautiful it is
- getting lost in the turquoise blue sky.
- And since that day the little Indian is remembered
- when it sounds like an echo to the chogüí.
- It is the happy and boisterous song
- of the funny orange tree that chimes in his song.
- Jump and peck the oranges
- which is his favorite fruit, repeating incessantly.
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