My Quilombo/Maroon Community.
A YOUNG MAROON’S VIEW FROM WITHIN
I am Bruna Picanço, I am black, from Amapá, daughter of the Amazon, I will tell you about my Maroon history from my perspective as a youngster. To be able to talk about me being a Maroon, we must first know what a Maroon is?
QUILOMBO were the places of refuge for slaves who escaped from mills and farms during the colonial and imperial period. The slaves went to live in these places in freedom. Today these places are called Maroon communities.
Since I was born, my parents have been telling me that I am the great-granddaughter of black people who were forcefully brought from Africa to Amapá to construct the St. Joseph of Macapa Fortress. They rebelled, ran away and formed the Quilombo/Maroon community. Today the community of Conceição do Macacoari consists of 60 families.
Our houses are made of wood, built through joint efforts. We raise animals such as chickens, ducks, pigs, cows, buffaloes, horses, and among others, we work in agriculture, working on the fields. We also get our food in a sustainable way from the forest and the river, which gain their economic value from these products.
We face difficult situations; we have no health clinics or schools. We have to go to the nearest community or to the state capital, 70km away. A river called Rio Macacoari flows through our community; in earlier days access was only through this river; now we have access to roads.
The name of the community is funny, because it comes from our patron saint who is Our Lady of Conception and Macacoari, from the monkeys that live in the region. We are the second Maroon community of Amapá state.
We seek more development and improvement of our people’s lives through the creation of associations and participation in debates on the public policy in society.