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Quilombo dos Palmares,

former autonomous community of villages comprised of fugitive African slaves and indigenous peoples, present-day Pernambuco and Alagoas states, NE Brazil. Its capital was the fortified village of Macaco. Most of the inhabitants had been slaves on sugar plantations along the Atlantic coast, and from c.1630 to 1694 some 10,000–20,000 lived in the villages, which were known as quilombos or mocambos. The villages as a group were organized according to Central African customs, and owed allegiance to an elected chief. The Portuguese and the Dutch, who controlled the area in the mid-1600s, mounted colonial expeditions against Palmares several times before the Portuguese finally conquered it in 1694.


See M. D'Salete, Angola Janga (2019).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a state of runaway Negro slaves that existed from 1630 to 1697 in the palm forests of northeastern Brazil, in the captaincy of Pernambuco. Negroes, who were subjected to cruel exploitation, often escaped to the forests, where they formed fortified settlements. In the 1630’s, several settlements united into a primitive feudal state with elements of tribal family organization, retaining to a significant extent the customs of primitive clan democracy, which was evidently the reason that contemporaries called Palmares a republic. The state was led by a chief and a council of elders, both elected for life. The population of Palmares, totaling 20,000, engaged in land cultivation and crafts, such as pottery, textiles, and blacksmithing, and bartered with Indian tribes. The inhabitants fought against Portuguese and Dutch colonizers in defense of their independence. During the largest battle, which took place in 1694, most of the population of Palmares was killed. The last settlements were destroyed in 1696–97.


Pombu, Rocha. Istoriia Brazilii. Moscow, 1962. Pages 215–20. (Translated from Portuguese.)
Ocherki istorii Brazilii. Moscow, 1962.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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