A favela is the generally used term for a shanty town in Brazil. In the late 18th century, the first settlements were called bairros africanos (African neighborhoods). This was the place where former slaves with no land ownership and no options for work lived. Over the years, many freed black slaves moved in. Even before the first "favela" came into being, poor citizens were pushed away from downtown and forced to live in the far suburbs. However, most modern favelas appeared in the 1970s, due to rural exodus, when many people left rural areas of Brazil and moved to cities. Without finding a place to live, many people ended up in a favela.
The original favela was erected on the Morro de Castelo in Rio de Janeiro by the families of soldiers returning from the Canudos Campaign of 1897, to beg for their salaries. Favelas are also known as quilombos (independent settlements of fugitive African slaves) and can be found among the hilly terrain surrounding Rio.
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