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Kilombomuntu (Maroons) Land Rights Under Attack by Brazilian Whites

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"With the recent onslaught of initiatives launched by Brazil’s wealthy ruralist elite to undo environmental and indigenous protections so as to seize more land for agribusiness, the plight of the Quilombolas — the people living in the remote hinterland communities set up by Afro-Brazilians, largely runaway slaves — has received little press.

Yet for Quilombola communities, the consequences of a legal action challenging their land rights, awaiting judgement in Brazil’s Supreme Court, could be dramatic and devastating.

Between the 16th to 19th centuries, an estimated four million Africans were transported from Africa to work as slaves on Brazil’s estates. Some escaped, fleeing slavery’s brutality, and determined to preserve their African cultural heritage, which had been fiercely repressed during captivity.

They avoided recapture by living unobtrusively in isolated regions, as far away as the Amazon, carving out homes in the rain forest. Having little contact with the outside world, some only learned of Brazil’s official abolition of slavery in 1888 decades after the event."

Read the complete article here.