Land Stolen from Indians and Quilombolas* in Music and Justice


Source: Comissão Pró-Índio de São Paulo                                                                                                                                                                                                      

The land stolen from Indians and quilombolas in Brazil has been part of the music sung by artists around the world for a long time, with justice being elicited to say when it is no longer a crime to do this, through the judgment of the so-called “Marco Temporal” (time frame), strangely mentioned as a legal thesis.

The power of music and Brazilian and international artists, in favor of the cause of Indians and quilombolas and their stories of betrayal and suffering, is the subject of this text. As Bruce Crockburn said in his song “Stolen Land”: From Tierra del Fuego to Ungava Bay, the story of betrayal continues to this day.

Therefore, it has already been said that on the American continent, we are always sitting on stolen land. The hope is that one day the lands of the Indians and quilombolas will be respected and the land of all Brazilians will be defined in a democratic way and not through the interests of corporations and large landowners.

However, we cannot forget that the spirit of the Almighty Voice is always calling the Indians and quilombolas, like thunder on the mountain, to tell them – it is a stolen land, and we will never forget. As Crockburn said, we must all have discovered that the world was not made just for white people. What steps should we take to try to resolve things correctly in this stolen land?

For the Indians, the land is seen as their Mother, always being preserved and maintained, while others want the land to exploit its resources for greedy purposes, with harmful consequences for all humanity in terms of climate change, water contamination, soil, food, and everyone's health.

Finally, the Indians and quilombolas are always in touch with the spirit of the Almighty Voice, which guides them to preserve Mother Earth and get rid of what is happening with climate change around the world, such as the recent disaster in the State of Rio Grande do Sul. We are on the way to the end of the planet, which could happen faster than one can imagine, through polluting and destructive actions by corporations.

While in the political field, there has never been interest in Brazil and the world in solving problems related to the current climate crisis, including the protection of Indians and quilombolas, in the field of music and arts many artists have taken the scientific community seriously and developed their work. There are many, but here we will mention just a few of them.

In Brazil, singer Chico Cesar, not only sings about the suffering of Indians and quilombolas, but also describes the hunger and poisoning of people in agribusiness activities, seen here as unsustainable and toxic. No Brazilian should miss listening to the song “Reis do Agronegócio”, by Chico Cesar, like the video below.


In Mexico, Maria Reyna, from the Oaxaca region, who lived in a context of great discrimination and racism against indigenous people, sings in her song “Orgullosa soy Raiz”, about her pride in being an indigenous woman. When singing about the honor of being rooted in ancestral cultures, in different indigenous languages, she manages to mix opera vocals with the genres of jazz and bolero, as in the following video.


Also, in Brazil, we cannot fail to mention the song by Carlos Rennó and Chico César about “Demarcação Já”, sung by several artists. We hope that this song, in the link below, brings us some learning, awareness, and a great reflection on human rights, the rights of indigenous people in Brazil, and the biggest crisis that affects us in this century. 

Finally, we must come together to alleviate the great suffering of those who for centuries have been unable to forget the Stolen Land.

Quilombolas* “Quilombo” or “quilombola” “is the name given to a community of runaway slaves. Those who fled the coffee and sugar cane plantations during the days of slavery, resisting the violence and exploitation of the colonial system, gathered in the remote forests of Brazil and formed the quilombos”.