The Constitution and Justice Commission of the Legislative Assembly of Rio Grande do Sul approved, this week, a favorable opinion on Bill 86/2023. Authored by congresswoman Laura Sito (PT), the project makes quilombola leader Manoel Padeiro the first hero of Rio Grande do Sul. The PL amends Law No. 15,950, of January 9, 2023, which consolidates state legislation regarding state events and dates, establishing the Official Calendar of Events and Commemorative Dates of RS.
:: Proposal aims to recognize quilombola leader Manoel Padeiro as the first black hero of RS ::
With approval, the date of June 16 will mark the state’s agenda with the story of Manoel Padeiro, known as the “Zumbi dos Pampas” or by the Peoples of Terreiro as the “Envoy of Hope”. A quilombola leader from Serra dos Tapes, in Pelotas, recognized as a General, a Governor of all, skilled in leading warriors, according to historical documents from 1930. According to the sources, he was an enslaved man who fled from Boaventura Rodrigues Barcelos, and the bounty on his head was 200 thousand réis.
The quilombo of Manoel Padeiro was an important territory for the most diverse experiences, such as the tavern located in Boa Vista, an establishment that sells drinks and meals, for the African couple, black and freed, Simão Vergara and Tereza Vieira da Cunha. This establishment, strategically located near the Pelotas charqueadas, was a space for the circulation of memories, constitution and strengthening of identities. It is the knowledge of the quilombolas that reflects in the struggle for existence and freedom until the present day.
:: “Pretos de Peleia forced me to reinvent myself as a poet”, says Renato de Mattos Motta ::
Therefore, Laura Sito points out, being able to remember Manoel Padeiro as a hero is to celebrate the human beings who fought hard and daily for freedom, who fled, who planned attacks, thefts and resisted. Men and women who built networks of kinship, affection, companionship, wisdom and contributed to the development of our Rio Grande do Sul.
As the parliamentarian points out, the bill means “telling new stories about the black population who arrived here to be enslaved, but who, through the struggle for their own and for the future, began to circumvent and open new paths, including for me to be here today as a state representative”. Now the matter will be forwarded to the Department of Legislative Advice, which will decide whether to send the proposal to another committee or to the Plenary.
Who was Manuel Padeiro?
The figure of quilombola leader Manoel Padeiro is already remembered in various ways in the southern region of the state. Also known by the nickname “General” Manoel Padeiro, he is often described as “Zumbi dos Pampas”, by comparison with the leader of the largest quilombo in the history of the country, Quilombo dos Palmares.
:: “The statues and names of avenues stayed with the white heroes”, points out Carla Menegat ::
As recorded by researcher and professor Joaquim Dias, the Quilombo do Manoel Padeiro existed during the years 1834 and 1835, in the Serra dos Tapes region, which then belonged to the municipality of Pelotas. The quilombolas carried out a series of attacks in the region, against farms, brickworks and even slave quarters.
The figure of Padeiro still has repercussions in the South Zone of the state, among remnants of quilombos and black communities. The bill’s initiative aims to expand that narrative statewide.
Source: BdF Rio Grande do Sul
Editing: Katia Marko