The Mate Gourd
The Guarani people called the container used for drinking mate a Caaigúaa, while the Quechua people called it ‘mati’. Mati ended up being the term adopted by the Spanish people to refer to both the cup and to the infusion prepared with yerba máte. According to J.J. Paliiere (1823-1887) the Spaniards found the word mati easier to pronounce and for this reason it was adopted. The first máte gourd ever made was from the fruit of a climbing plant called Lagenaria vulgaris, which belongs to the native pumpkin family that grows in South America.