FEBRUARY 7, 1756


Sepé Tiaraju was an 18th century Guarani leader who died defending indigenous lands from Spanish and Portuguese armies.  He became the first Indian officially recognized as a Brazilian national hero.  Tiaraju led resistance to the 1750 Treaty of Madrid, which divided South America between Spain and Portugal.  The treaty gave Spain Uruguay; Portugal received the current Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul.  The accord also stipulated that Guarani Indians in Misiones Orientals be moved across the Uruguay River.  As many of these Guaranis had been converted to Christianity by Jesuits and had prosperous villages, they decided to fight for their land in what is now known as the Guarani War.  On Feb. 7, 1756, Tiaraju died at the Battle of Caiboate.  Shortly afterwards, close to 1,500 Guaranis were massacred by the combined Portuguese and Spanish forces.  Today Tiaraju is considered a “popular saint” by many Brazilians.  The Guarani tribe is the largest indigenous group in Paraguay and one of the most numerous in Brazil.

Source:  Carlos A. Moreno, “Brazil Indian Who Battled Conquerors Recognized As National Hero,” Native Village Youth And Education News, 11/ 2009.  Retrieved 6/7/2019, https://www.nativevillage.org/Archives/2009%20Archives/NOV%20News/brazil_indian_who_battled_conque.htm
Photo:  Author and date unknown.  Fair use: This is not being used for profit and is done for educational purposes only.  Further Fair Use justification provided upon request.   Source:  Have not found information on copyright.  However, this is a public statute of which many images exist.  

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