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History: cannon 21- SIGA nº 015900

  Like cannon 3, this colubrina (a type of cannon that served as long-range naval artillery) equipped the Real Forte Príncipe da Beira, now in ruins on the bank of the Guaporé River in Rondônia, Brazil. That fort, considered the oldest monument in the state, was built in 1775 by a Genoese engineer and infantry assistant who died during the construction — a victim of malaria, a disease that affected many of those who participated in the work.


  In the Proclamation of the Republic in 1889, the fort was abandoned, generating an intense process of scrapping and oblivion. At the beginning of the 20th century, however, the building was "rediscovered" by the military and sertanista Marechal Rondon. In 1937 the army sent the seventh frontier battalion to occupy it, and in 1950 the fort was listed as a historical monument, certainly the greatest milestone of colonization in the Madeira and Guaporé Valleys.

  Today, the community that inhabits the outskirts of the fort are the descendants of the enslaved blacks and Indians who built the fort. The army claims ownership of the land, characterizing it as a national security area. According to reports by community leaders interviewed for the documentary “Aquarteladas,” the military prevents them from developing family farming, threatens to evict them, and refuses to  establish dialogue.


  Because of the visible threat of historical-cultural erasure of this community, it is necessary to value and preserve their customs and histories. According to historian Sílvio do Nascimento, the local culture of these riverside communities is filled with stories that inspire mystery. Two of these stories, as reported by Nascimento, involve hauntings and allude to the suffering of the slaves involved in the construction of the fort.

  Narratives of popular imagination are rooted in history. By ascribing value to a place and its relationships, we can begin to build a more pluralistic, heterogeneous and generous history.

Note: Colubrina is a type of cannon that served as long-range
naval artillery.

smell Dust PBG088NPB

  The smell of dust carries the memory of fortresses destroyed by invasions. It penetrates the nose, causing itching. Its texture is sandy, creating physical discomfort in the throat. How many houses, forts, and buildings have been destroyed since the beginning of colonization?
The smell raises dusty memories of Brazilian history.


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