On this day November 20, 1695

Zumbi was captured and beheaded on the spot, the Portuguese transported Zumbi’s head to Recife, where it was displayed in the central praça as proof that, contrary to popular legend among African slaves, Zumbi was not immortal.

This was also done as a warning of what would happen to others if they tried to be as brave as him. Remnants of quilombo dwellers continued to reside in the region for another hundred years.

Zumbi also known as Zumbi dos Palmares was the last of the leaders of the Quilombo dos Palmares, in the present-day state of Alagoas, Brazil. Quilombos were fugitive slave settlements or slave refugee settlements. Quilombos represented slave resistance which occurred in three forms: slave settlements, attempts at seizing power, and armed insurrection.

Members of quilombos often returned to plantations or towns to encourage their former fellow slaves to flee and join the quilombos. If necessary, they brought slaves by force and sabotaged plantations.

Slaves who came to quilombos on their own were considered free, but those who were captured and brought by force were considered slaves and continued to be slaves in the settlement. They could be considered free if they were to bring another captive to the settlement.

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