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The Sights and Voices of Dispossession: The Fight for the Land and the Emerging Culture of the MST (The Movement of the Landless Rural Workers of Brazil)


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Studies, statements & references -> Glossary 77 resources (Compiled by Else R P Vieira. Translation © Thomas Burns.)

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Palmares, Quilombo of

'For many revolutionaries ... the First Free Republic of Latin America. At the end of the 16th century, around 1590, there was a revolt of the black slaves of a large sugar-mill in Pernambuco. Armed with clubs and scythes, they overcame the owners and overseers and headed for the forest … Around 1650, about 20 thousand inhabitants were living in the Quilombo [runaway slave village], collectively organized for work and defense. The most important leader of the Quilombo was Zumbi, born in 1655 in one of its villages, who, while a young man, was captured by soldiers of the governor of Pernambuco, given to the priest of Porto Calvo and baptized with the name of Francisco. In 1670, Zumbi escaped from the parish house and returned to the Quilombo of Palmares, where he became a great leader for his culture, courage, and organizational and command ability. About forty expeditions were undertaken against Palmares. Its destruction took place with a huge expedition in 1694, causing Zumbi’s death on November 20, 1695' (Calendário Histórico dos Trabalhadores. São Paulo: MST, Setor de Educação. 3a. edição, 1999, p. 38). See ZUMBI OF PALMARES.


November 2002

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