Voices of the woodland gods
Anger of the savage angels
With but one
voice shall call
Maçaranduba (1), felled
Açaizeiro (2), felled
And the chain-saw man sets fire to
Blood spilt at the hands of values that appal
Slings(6) and arrows on the invader rain
Tikuna, Kaiapó, Kamayurá tribes
Slings and arrows on
the invader rain
Country folk in fury, fishermen in pain
In a cry for vengeance shall
Off the sap that from the earth shall rise
Quintino(7) will be
Batista(8) will be here
Fonteles(9), Expeditos(10) will spring up
And along with Angelim(11)
Chico Mendes of Xapuri
soon will be
Gods and demons on every plot
With their power to say no,
in every tree
1 Editor's note: Maçaranduba: tree native to Brazil, which has
a red wood with a dark brown hue that is very useful in cabinet-making.
2 Editor's note: Açaizeiro: the açaí is a palm
from the Amazon region found on the banks of rivers and swampy lands.
3 Editor's note: Macacaúba: a tree from the Amazon region,
whose wood is used in expensive furniture.
4 Editor's note: Samaumeira: a tree with large trunk and attractive
5 Editor's note: Tikuna, Kaiapó, Kamayurá: indigenous
peoples. The Tikuna are found in the Amazon region; The Kaiapó, today
greatly reduced, live along the banks of the Xingu River, in the state of Mato
Grosso and in the south of the state of Pará; the Kamayurá are of
the Tupi-Guarani linguistic group and live in the state of Mato Grosso, in the
south of the Xingu Indigenous Reserve.
6 Editor's note: Borduna/Cudgel: the Portuguese term in the text
refers to an indigenous weapon for attack, defence, and hunting, which is long
and made of hard wood (Dicionário Houaiss da Língua Portuguesa,
Rio de Janeiro: Editora Objetiva, 2001). Among the country people of the
Araguaia River, borduna is the indigenous cudgel (Dicionário
7 Editor's note: Quintino: Quintino Lira was a peasant leader in the
northeast of Pará, murdered in September, 1984, by the landowners of the
region. Possessed of a strong personality, he rebelled when his land was taken.
He became famous for his escapes from the police and became a legend in the
8 Editor's note: Batista: João Batista was a lawyer who fought
to defend the working-class, and a representative of the Communist Party of
Brazil. He was murdered in front of his wife and children.
9 Editor's note: Fonteles: the name by which Paulo Fonteles is known
in the region, a lawyer and representative of the Communist Party of Brazil,
10 Editor's note: Expeditos: Expedito Ribeiro e Souza was a poet,
farmworker, and president of the Union of Rural Workers in the south and
southeast of Pará. He was the seventh person murdered at Rio Maria owing
to his leadership and connection with the rural union movement. After his death,
the Comitê Rio Maria (Rio Maria Committee) was founded, in 1991, by Father
Ricardo Rezende. It is an international solidarity network that aims at ending
the murders of farmworkers and union-members by gunmen under contract to the
large landowners in the south of Pará
(http://www.riomaria.org/por_o_que_e.htm). The plural form of his name,
Expeditos, indicates that he is the representative of a great number of rural
leaders murdered in the region.
11 Editor's note: Angelim: Third Cabano President, at 21 years of age,
on the occasion of which the Movement entered its most radical phase. Cabano, in
this context, refers to the Republic of Cabanos, proclaimed during the third
phase of the Cabanagem, a revolution (1833-36) in the province of Grão
Pará, which corresponds today to the states of Pará and Amazonas.
The name comes from cabana (hut, cabin), a poor dwelling built on stakes.
Initially an expression of the dissatisfaction of the large landowners and local
politicians against the central power of Rio de Janeiro, it changed its meaning
after a revolt of the mixed and indigenous populations, who lived in terrible
conditions. The fighting resulted in 40,000 victims (Enciclopédia Delta
This song is from the CD
A song for peace