‘Quilombos’ – Afro-Brazilian Communities

Quilombos, or quilombolas, are free settlements created by enslaved Africans who typically used capoeira to escape during the 17th and 18th centuries. Over a hundred years later, quilombos still exist in Brazil.

Quilombos were hidden in dense jungles or remote mountainsides to avoid recapture. Today, there are 3,524 quilombos scattered throughout Brazil, with another 1500 still hidden in the jungles.

Native African cultures and lifestyles are kept alive within quilombos. Quilombos pride themselves in being self-sufficient. Residents depend on farming, hunting, fishing, and trade. Poverty is high in these communities. Residents’ homes are made of mud. As a result of the continued isolation:

  • 91% of family incomes are less than 190 a month
  • Children suffer higher rates of malnutrition
  • 3.2 % of children live in homes without indoor plumbing

The isolation has not protected them from exploitation of those looking to cheat them out of the land that they have lived on for over a hundred years. Large companies often make claims to rain forest without legal opposition. Out of fear of losing their land families do not leave their homes to enroll children in city school, or seek medical services.

One Response to “‘Quilombos’ – Afro-Brazilian Communities”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Deborah Mazon, Deborah Mazon. Deborah Mazon said: ‘Quilombos’ – Afro-Brazilian Communities: http://wp.me/pL6p1-Cs […]

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