Fierce

Indigenous Community In Paraguay Makes History By Choosing Widow As Leader Of The Maka People

Indigenous women are leading the way in more ways than one. From making history as an Oscar-nominated actress or crossing the marathon line in full indigenous clothing, there’s truly nothing they can’t do and they deserve every ounce of respect. A small community of indigenous people is showing that respectfulness to a woman and making history by doing so.

The Maka people that live in a small village in Paraguay have chosen a woman to be their representative.

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When their leader Andrés Chemei died early this year, their tradition is to pass the throne onto their son. However, Chemei didn’t have a son and so the people chose his widow, the Associated Press reports.

Sixty-eight-year-old Tsiweyenki (also known as Gloria Elizeche) has gladly accepted her new leadership role.

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Tsiweyenki is not the first indigenous leader but she’s definitely one of two. The most recent indigenous leader was, according to the AP, Margarita Mywangi, who served the Ache community between 1992 to 2014.

According to anthropologist, indigenous people have a general respect for women so this change in command is very much accepted.

While women weren’t allowed to vote in Paraguay since 1961, Marilin Rehnfeld, director of the Department of Anthropology at the Catholic University of Asuncion, told the AP that indigenous people respect women because of their tactful ways.

“Generally speaking, all indigenous people have a great deal of respect for women because they are decision-makers,” Rehnfeld said. “They organize the community, educate the children and deal with all important matters. The title of chief was invented by our society, not the tribes.”

READ: This School Is Fighting Back Against Prejudice And Using Its Uniforms To Empower Indigenous Students

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