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Different types of bombillas, with a common matchstick for scale.
Lithograph of José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia, a 19th-century consul and dictator of Paraguay, with a mate and its respective bombilla.

A bombilla (Spanish), bomba (Portuguese) or masassa (Arabic) is type of drinking straw, used to drink mate.[1] Bombillas contain a filter in the lower end to separate the mate infusion from leaves and stems. Traditional bombillas are made of German silver, a metal alloy of copper and nickel, while other common materials are stainless steel and hollow-stemmed cane.

The Spanish term is also used for electric lightbulbs, bombilla eléctrica, being a diminutive of bomba.[1]


  1. ^ a b Diccionario de la lengua española. "Diccionario de la lengua española | Real Academia Española". Retrieved 2013-12-16.