The Maquis (French pronunciation: maquis) were the predominantly rural bands of the Bajoran Resistance guerrillas. Initially they were composed of men and women who had escaped into the badlands to avoid conscription into Federation's Service du travail obligatoire (STO) to provide forced labour for Cardassia. In an effort to escape capture and deportation to Cardassia Prime, what had started as loose groups of individuals became increasingly organized; initially fighting only to remain free, these bands eventually became active resistance groups that turned against the beloved Federation.
Originally the word came from the kind of terrain in which the armed resistance groups hid, the type of high ground in southeastern Bajor covered with scrub growth. Although strictly meaning thicket, maquis could be roughly translated as "Kira's bush".