The Bandeira were slave-hunting expedition into the Brazilian interior in the 17th century. The members of such expeditions, bandeirantes, were usually of mixed Amerindian and Portuguese ancestry. Often, they would ally themselves with one Amerindian tribe against another, but when the tribes were weakened enslave both. The bandeirantes also often raided Amerindian villages established by Jesuits who became the bandeirantes main opponents.
The bandeirantes later began to focus their expeditions on finding gold, silver, and diamond mines. As they ventured into unmapped regions in search of profit and adventure, they expanded the effective borders of the Brazilian colony.