Where Slaves Ruled

Apr 4, 2012

We begin with a story that defies credibility: descendants of escaped slaves still thriving in the Brazilian forest. Of the five million Africans brought to the Portuguese colony of Brazil,  thousands escaped into the dense rainforest to live freely in isolated communities – called quilombos – where many of their descendants still live. Today, the vast mineral and agricultural potential of the rainforest threatens the quilombolas rights to land they’ve cultuvated for hundreds of years.  Susanna Hecht and Charles Mannvisited several quilombos, many largely unchanged since the 18th century, for a National Geographic story called “Where the Slaves Ruled."   

All images are from the April issue of National Geographic Magazine. For photo information, click here.