Quilombo Country Synopsis

Brazil, once the world\'s largest slave colony, was brutal and deadly for millions of Africans. But many thousands escaped and rebelled, creating settlements in Brazil\'s untamed hinterland. Largely unknown to the outside world, these communities struggle today to preserve a rich heritage born of resistance to oppression. The word \"quilombo\" [from the Angolan word \"encampment\"] denotes the type of villages that were formed all across the New World by those escaping slavery. In Colombia and Mexico they are called \"palenques\" [\"fortified by planks\" as in a palisade], while Jamaicans call them \"maroon\" communities [from \"cimmaron,\" or \"wild,\" in Spanish]. The Seminoles of Florida share a similar origin, both in the Creek Indian/Spanish root word \"simano\" and in the African heritage brought to them and many other Native American groups by fugitive slaves.