The National Historical and Artistic Heritage Institute (Iphan) will recognize the territories, natural elements, homes and traditional rites of quilombos as the country’s cultural heritage. The listing of these sites will occur after 35 years of waiting by quilombola communities, as it is provided for in the Federal Constitution, according to which “all documents and sites holding historical reminiscences of former quilombos are listed”.
The institute published an ordinance this Monday (20), Black Awareness Day, which sets out the requirements and rules for the recognition of these places.
According to the ordinance, the following may go through the listing process: sites with material remains of extinct quilombos or memory documents and areas occupied by quilombola communities, which use ancestral traditions in current practices. According to Iphan, the measure will mean recognition of stream springs, stone ruins in the middle of forests and medicinal herb plots.
Any individual or company can request listing by submitting a request to an Iphan unit. For the listing process to begin, it is necessary to present a certificate of self-definition of the remaining quilombo communities, a document issued by the Palmares Cultural Foundation. Other documents are an identification and territorial delimitation report issued or approved by Incra.
Currently, only Quilombo do Ambrósio, in Minas Gerais, is listed.
The Minister of Culture, Margareth Menezes, highlighted that the initiative is an important step towards preserving quilombola culture in the country. “We are building a new story with the participation of society,” she said.
Before publication, the text of the ordinance underwent public consultation for 45 days, during which 240 manifestations were collected, the majority of which were from quilombolas. The formulation of the ordinance had the support of the ministries of Culture, Racial Equality, Human Rights and Citizenship, the National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform (Incra) and the Palmares Cultural Foundation.
For the president of Iphan, Leandro Grass, the listing of quilombos could contribute to communities’ access to education and other public policies. “This is a link to citizenship, a link to historical reparation that is so necessary in a country like ours,” he said.
In addition to the ordinance, the Permanent Committee for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage of African Origin (Copmaf) was created in September, with the aim of improving guidelines and processes for preserving African culture.
“Iphan is committed to formally addressing the responsibility of removing the cultural component of African origin from the footnotes of history books, reducing cultural and exotic contributions in cuisine and music, and raising it to the centrality of debates”, highlighted the committee coordinator, Bruna Ferreira.