The gold of the Jalapão
Community Tourism in the Mumbuca Quilombo community and Jalapão State park, Tocantins state, Brazil
This is a community project established in the Mumbuca Quilombo community, founded by two women, Ilana and Miriam.
At 35 km from the town of Mateiro, in the midst of the Jalapão State park, in the Tocantins Brazilian state, the silent, small and welcoming Mumbuca Quilombo community awaits you to reveal the unique natural richness of the region.
The community is mostly made up of the descendants of slaves from Bahia, but it is, in reality, the result of the encounter of these individuals with the indigenous tribes that populated the region, and these traces can be visibly found in the features of people’s faces.
Tourism here started pretty recently, and until 2001 the community neither had roads nor received electricity.
This is the community where the tradition of the precious caipim dourado was born. `
From mid-September to November, the grass dyes the nearby vereda fields with tints of gold, highlighted by the summery sun.
The women – gathered in an association of artisans – are responsible for the production and marketing of the fine products created with this unusual field grass – Syngonanthus nitens – that only grows in this place, and which has become famous worldwide in the form of a great variety of items, from fashion jewellery to frames, and from hats and bags to kitchen pots and bowls.
The community owns a family-run restaurant and a bed-and-breakfast and there are many additional activities that can be experienced.
Capim dourado processing workshops are available to try, as well as a workshop for the preparation of mandioca flour, which will take you from the raw material picked in the field to the production of the final product.
Dona Noemi is known in the neighbourhood as the ‘doctor’, due to the ancestral knowledge of the natural environment retained by her. She proudly organises medicinal herbs workshops to share her passion and her wisdom with the visitors.
Legends and traditions are embedded in the words of the storyteller Maurício Ribeiro, who recites them accompanied by his Buriti guitar, made from a local native plant.
Trekking trails allow the hikers to retrace the ancient paths that once united the communities through hidden shortcuts.
Last but not least, if you visit at the right time of the year you can be taken to the vereda where the caipim dourado grows and witness the fields of golden carpet extending before your eyes.
An unmissable and unforgettable view.
Photo credits @Marcelo Castro