Palmares is a mountainous area located in the northeast of Brazil. Starting from the end of the XVIth century and along the following century, it became one of the centers of resistance of thousands of blacks and mulatto fled slaves of farms, towns and villas of the Northeast. Besides escaping of the slavery, the blacks tried to create again, the African world and to recover their social, economic and cultural rootses. The Quilombo of Palmares lasted for almost 100 years. Palmares is a mountainous area of 150 km of length and 50 km of width, close to the coast and covered with forests and palm trees - that's the reason of the name Palmares.
The population of the area was about 20 thousand. They cultivated small plantations and they started to have own conditions of subsistence.The lunges against properties and towns frighten the inhabitants and farmers of the area.
In the second half of the XVIIth century , the General Government's authorities and the captaincy of Pernambuco (Northeast of Brazil) sent military expeditions against Palmares. But its results were almost null.
In 1687, the sertanista from São Paulo, Domingos Jorge Velho was hired by the colonial authorities to destroy the quilombo and to rescue them fled.
As strategy to defeat Palmares, Domingos Jorge Velho stimulated the escape of blacks contaminated with varíola, and disseminated the disease in the quilombo.
Palmares dropped in 1694 and its leader, Zumbi, died. He had the penises cut and inserted in his mouth. Until today Zumbi is symbol of the black cause in Brazil.