The sterling silver composition of this tea set indicates that it was used for special occasions or by a wealthy family. The holder is filled with mate' (tea) to about the top line of decoration, then boiling water is added. The tea is ingested through a special wood or metal straw, called a bombilla which filters out the leafy material. Yerba Mate' (pronounced "yerba mahtay") is a medicinal and cultural drink of ancient origins. Introduced to the world by the Guarani Indians of South America, Mate' contains ingredients that help keep its drinkers healthy and energetic. Mate' became the most common ingredient in household cures of the Guarani, and now, more than a drink, Yerba Mate' has become a cultural phenomenon throughout South America.
The Children's Museum of Indianapolis
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Indians of South America
Guarani Indians -- Social life and customs
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