slaves

Word of Mouth - Segment
11:55 am
Wed April 4, 2012

Where Slaves Ruled

Swirling to West African rhythms, residents of the Santa Rosa dos Pretos quilombo celebrate the recovery of a sick neighbor with a tambor de crioula, a “creole drum” festival that mixes African and European traditions.
©Tyrone Turner/National Geographic

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.

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