On November 20, 1695, Zumbi, leader of the Afro-Brazilian Quilombo dos Palmares, a maroon settlement, was killed in ambush. A Quilombo was a free settlement of escaped slaves, and it sustained itself by sabotaging plantations or capturing slaves and forcing them to join. Quilombo Dos Palmares was a self-sustaining settlement in Brazil which, at its peak, had approximately 30,000 members. Zumbi was the last of its leaders and fought the Portuguese military with enough prowess to elude them for two years after Dos Palmares was taken over. The Portuguese feared Zumbi not only as a physical threat (he was a descendent of Angolan Imbangala warriors, and was believed to be immortal), but also as a leader who could undoubtedly inspire slaves and runaways alike to fight for their freedom. He is a symbol of resistance against all the madness of New World dominance: slavery, colonial exploitation, and domination. He fought for freedom in the 17th century, was a hero for the 20th century Afro-Brazilian political movement, and still inspires today.
Photo Credit: Gonzalo Rivero