Monday, April 6, 2009


Umbanda is an Afro-Brazilian religion that blends African religions with Catholicism and Spiritism (Kardecist Spiritualism).

Umbanda is related to and has many similitudes with other Afro-Brazilian religions like Candomblé, Batuque, Macumba, Quimbanda, Xambá, Egungun, Ifá, Irmandade, Confraria, Xangô do Nordeste and Tambor de Mina, but also has it own identity.

Although some of its beliefs and most of its practices existed in the late 19th century in almost all Brazil, it is assumed that Umbanda originated in Rio de Janeiro and surrounding areas in the early 20th century, mainly due to the work of a psychic (medium), Zélio Fernandino de Moraes, who practiced Umbanda among the poor Afro-Brazilian population. Since then, Umbanda has spread across mainly southern Brazil and even to foreign countries like Uruguay and Argentina.

Umbanda has many branches, each one with a different set of believes and practices. Some of the Umbanda's basic beliefs are the existence of a One Supreme Creator God (the Orixá Olorum); deities called Orixás related to Catholic Saints that act as God's energy and plain power expansions; spirits of deceased people that counsel and guide believers through troubles in our material world; psychics called mediums who have a natural ability that can be perfected to bring messages from the spiritual world of Orixás and guiding spirits, reincarnation and spiritual evolution through many material lives (Karmic Law) and the practice of Charity.

The information here presented is just a general view of all Umbanda branches, so some beliefs and practices here described could be different from those observed in a specific place.


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