Dandara can be activated to receive a Warrior Monk with one promotion level. (2 charges)
Colonies in the Americas – with a few exceptions – were built upon the labor of enslaved peoples. In large stretches of the Caribbean, Brazil, and the southern part of what was to become the United States, these enslaved people were African. But not all slaves went peacefully. So-called maroon communities, made up of enslaved people who rebelled or escaped, often finding refuge with indigenous peoples, were common in the dense forests of South America.
Palmares, named for its palm trees, was a quilombo, one of these maroon settlements in northeastern Brazil. Made up of former enslaved workers from Brazil’s sugar plantations originally from Kongo and Angola, Palmares was ruled by a king. Palmares was free for nearly all of the 1600s, and in 1678 the settlement signed a treaty with the Portuguese assuring its freedom, but with a catch – residents of Palmares were themselves free but were required to return any escaped enslaved person that they found. Dandara and her husband Zubmi rejected this and led a rebellion against the Portuguese.
Dandara was a master of capoeira, a form of martial arts that became famous amongst formerly enslaved people of Brazil. It combines fluid motion, evasion, and the use of an attacker’s own momentum in a motion that is not quite combat and not quite dance. Most importantly, it allowed enslaved people to fight back using nothing more than their own bodies – exactly the element that the colonial powers sought to take from them. Dandara was arrested in 1694 but, rather than fall back into slavery, she committed suicide.