Quilombo (1986) a film you can find on Netflix. Must watch.
Quilombo dos Palmares, was a fugitive community of escaped slaves and others in colonial Brazil that developed from 1605 until its suppression in 1694. It was located in what is today the Brazilian state of Alagoas.
Angola Janga was legendary for its size and power. An independent, self-sustaining kingdom, Palmares was vast and at its height hosted a population of over 30,000 free men, women and children.
Although the “Guerra de Palmares” consistently calls the king Ganga Zumba, and translates his name as “Great Lord” other documents, including a letter addressed to the king written in 1678 refer to him as “Ganazumba” (which is consistent with a Kimbundu term ngana meaning “lord”). One other official, Gana Zona also had this element in his name.
After a particularly devastating attack by the captain Fernão Carrilho in 1676-7, Gana Zumba sent a letter to the Governor of Pernambuco asking for a peace. The governor responded by agreeing to pardon Gana Zumba and all his followers, on condition that they move to a position closer to the Portuguese settlements and return all enslaved Africans that had not been born in Palmares. Although Gana Zumba agreed to the terms, one of his more powerful leaders, Zumbi refused to accept the terms. According to a deposition made in 1692 by a Portuguese priest, Zumbi was born in Palmares in 1655, but was captured by Portuguese forces in a raid while still an infant. He was raised by the priest, and taught to read and write Portuguese and Latin. At age 15, however, Zumbi escaped and returned to Palmares. There he quickly won a reputation for military skill and bravery and was promoted to the leader of a large mocambo.
In a short time, Zumbi had organized a rebellion against Gana Zumba, who was styled as his uncle, and poisoned him. Which is not totally proven, many believe he poisoned himself to put a warning that the Portuguese could not be trusted. Since he was sick of fighting but knew the repercussions of signing the deal with the Portuguese and knew this would not be the end of a long fight. By 1679 the Portuguese were again sending military expeditions against Zumbi. Meanwhile, the sugar planters reneged on the agreement and re-enslaved many of Gana Zumba’s followers who had moved to the position closer to the coast.
From 1680 to 1694, the Portuguese and Zumbi, now the new king of Angola Janga, waged an almost constant war of greater or lesser violence. The Portuguese government finally brought in the famed Portuguese military commanders Domingos Jorge Velho and Bernardo Vieira de Melo, who had made their reputation fighting Native American peoples in São Paulo and then in the São Francisco valley. The final assault against Palmares occurred in 1694. Cerca do Macaco, the main settlement, fell; and Zumbi was wounded. He eluded the Portuguese, but was betrayed, finally captured, and beheaded in 1695.
Zumbi’s brother continued resistance, but Palmares was ultimately destroyed, and Velho and his followers were given land grants in the territory of Angola Janga, which they occupied as a means of keeping the kingdom from being reconstituted. Palmares had been destroyed by a large army of Indians under the command of white and caboclo (white/Indian mixed-bloods) captains-of-war.
Although the kingdom was destroyed the Palmares region continued to host many smaller runaway settlements, and so the Portuguese still had the problems they had before, but there was no longer the centralized state in the mountains.