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THE RUINS OF THE JESUS DE TAVARANGUE AND TRINIDAD DE PARANA JESUIT MISSIONS
 
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The native handicrafts of Paraguay were also the source of livelihood of the native Guarani Tribe. The tradition and technique have been handed down from generation to generation.

These crafts include hand-knitted lace, cotton textiles, leather goods, gold and silver crafts, the arpa, pottery, and woodwork. Ñanduti, a special hand-knitted lace (Paraguayan embroidery) is particularly famous.

Ao po’i, a cotton fabric, is also famous for Paraguayan originality. Other products include Paraguayan-style hammocks, leather bags, embroidered blouses, precious metals like gold and silver, and straw hats (sombrero) made of Caranday leaves.

Major shops are in the center of Asuncion City, concentrated along Colon, Pettirossi, Palma, and Estrella Streets.

Recova is a market specializing in native handicraft. Shops’ business hours are usually Monday-Friday, 8:00-12:00 and 14:30-19:00.

Shops are open only until 12 o’clock on Saturdays. Currently, shopping centers are open 9:00-21:00, including lunchtime.





Various Kinds of Native Handicraft

Hammock-making workshop

Cotton Textiles, Lace, and Embroidery
Ñanduti, famous Paraguayan handcrafted lace, means “cobweb” in Guarani.
The beautifully hand-knitted lace, which looks like a cobweb, is used as material for ethnic costumes, tablecloth, veils, and tapestry, and is popular as a souvenir among tourists.
Itagua, a little less than an hour away from Asuncion by car, is known as the home of Ñanduti

At some shops you can see a demonstration of lace-knitting. Ao po’i is a cool-looking cotton cloth with graceful embroidery. Ao po’i products are clothes, tablecloth, curtains, and ornaments. Yataity is the home of Ao po’i.

Ñanduti
Ao po’i
Handcrafted Goods Using Leaf Fiber
A hand-woven product using the fiber from dried leaves is one of the handicrafts peculiar to Paraguay. Some products are molded after being woven, while others are painted and appliqued with geometrical patterns. There are products like hats, fans, baskets, and tableware.

Pottery
The Guarani-kneaded clay is formed and baked to make water-jugs, cups, urns, and other earthenware.
Under Spanish rule they learned to make earthenware now commonly used as containers of various shapes and flowerpots.
Aregua and Ita, the home of pottery, have become known for their artistry.

Earthenware
Leather Goods
Leather goods are the Native’s specialty. In old times, they used to tan the skin of animals in a crude way that the hair was not removed. Some Native tribes used animal skin as a ceremonial costume.
Furniture, chairs, and harnesses made of marked leather are perfect showcases of the Native culture being preserved.

Wood-carvings
Fixtures on colonial buildings and wooden house doors are also examples of the elaborateness of Paraguayan crafts. Wood from Paraguay is excellent for carving. The elaborately carved wooden pulpit and confession room in the Yaguaron Church are very excellent as an art.

Gold and Silver Crafts
These are items made by melting or bending gold and silver and embellishing them with semi-precious stones. Gold is made into a flat plate to be used as frames and detailed parts. There are also commodities such as mate tea containers, pitchers, and tableware; other products such as altar decorations, holy articles such as candlestick holders and furniture; and various accessories such as saddle heads, stirrups, and spurs.

Silver goods
Silver accessories