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The indigenous peoples and quilombola communities share a history of resistance to domination. They confronted the colonizers who occupied Brazil and stole their wealth, their land, and their rights, and to this day, they suffer the consequences of this process: social and economic inequality, racial discrimination and other forms of prejudice.

Indians and quilombolas are social groups which set themselves apart from Brazilian society and who are classified by anthropology as ethnic groups. They are people who have distinct forms of organization and who maintain their own identity. This is the basis for the organization, mobilization, and political action of their communities.

Today, there are 480,000 indigenous people in Brazil living in 593 recognized territories - it is estimated that when the Europeans arrived, their population was between two and four million. There is no census of the quilombola population in Brazil, but estimates indicate there are 2,000 to 3,000 communities. Both Indians and quilombolas are found throughout Brazil.

Indigenous peoples and quilombola communities use their land in a collective way. Guaranteeing their traditional lands is fundamental for their physical and cultural survival. Despite the fact that Brazilian Law recognizes the land rights of Indians and quilombolas, most groups are still fighting to defend this right.

To learn more about:

Quilombola communities (in Portuguese) (English version available)


fotos/photos :: Carlos Penteado

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