Quilombo dos Palmares was a village in Palmares (Pernambuco - Brazil) constituted by African runaways from Brazilian farms.
Zumbi is one of the most well known and important Africans. He was born free (1655) in Palmares, but he was given to the missionary, Father Antônio Melo, who baptized Zumbi as Francisco and taught him Latin and the sacraments. They tried to “civilize” him but he felt like a slave and he escaped in 1650. Within fifteen years he returned to his birthplace, Palmares.
The governor of the captaincy of Pernambuco, Pedro de Almeida, offered freedom for all the people who lived in the Quilombo dos Palmarares if they would submit to Portuguese authority. Ganga Zumba (the actual leader at that time) accepted the proposal but Zumbi was distrustful of the Portuguese. Zumbi analyzed and he concluded that it would be treason for the slaves because the people from Palmares would receive freedom but the other Africans would remain enslaved. Zumbi became the new leader and he continued the resistance toward Portuguese oppression.
In 1693, artillery assaulted the Quilombo dos Palmares and then the people betrayed and captured Zumbi. They killed Zumbi and they transported his head to Recife and displayed it in the central park as proof that Zumbi was not immortal.
Nowadays Zumbi has a special date in the Brazilian calendar, November 20. This day has a special meaning for Bazilian people as national pride, and they remember Zumbi as a hero, freedom fighter and a symbol of freedom.