Umbanda is a Brazilian religion that blends African religions with Catholicism, Spiritism, and considerable indigenous lore.

Umbanda is related to, and has many similarities with, other Afro-Brazilian religions like Candomblé and Quimbanda, but has its 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 neighboring countries like Uruguay and Argentina.

Umbanda has many branches, each one with a different set of beliefs and practices. Some common beliefs are the existence of a single, supreme creator god represented in the Orixá Olorum or Oxala; the existence of natural forces or deities called Orixás, some of them synchronistic with Catholic saints that act as divine energy and forces of nature; spirits of deceased people that counsel and guide believers through troubles in the material world; psychics, or mediums, who have a natural ability that can be perfected to bring messages from the spiritual world of Orixás and the guiding spirits; reincarnation and spiritual evolution through many material lives (karmic law) and the practice of charity and social fraternity.

Read more about UmbandaBasic Beliefs and Practices, Three Principal Items, Umbanda Temples, Priests and Priestesses, Rituals & Ceremonies, Notable Umbandists, Bibliography

Other articles related to "umbanda":

Afro-Brazilian - Religion
... among the population in general, Whites are a majority in Umbanda, and a significant minority (bigger than blacks in the strict sense) in Candomblé ... which is closer to the original West African religions, there is also Umbanda which blends Catholic and Kardecist Spiritism beliefs with African beliefs ... In current practice, Umbanda followers leave offerings of food, candles and flowers in public places for the spirits ...
Umbanda - Bibliography
... DaMatta, Roberto ... Religion and ModernityThree studies of Brazilian religiosity ...
... In the mid-20th century, Macumba split into two religions Quimbanda and Umbanda ... Umbanda represented the more acceptable traits of Macumba, while Quimbanda retained the distinctively African traits, which detractors hailed as black magic ... as a religion, while resisting Catholic and French Spiritist influences that have penetrated Umbanda and other Afro-Brazilian religions ...
History - From Macumba To Quimbanda and Umbanda
... culture, Macumba morphed into two religions Umbanda and Quimbanda ... Umbanda represented the ‘whitened’ aspects of Macumba, drawing heavily on spiritual and hierarchical values of French Spiritism and Catholicism ... white magic of Macumba has caused much debate over the unity or disunity of Quimbanda and Umbanda ...
Spirit Possession - African Diasporic Traditions - Umbanda
... Spirit possession is also found in Umbanda, an Afro-Brazilian folk religion ... One such possessing spirit is Pomba Gira, who possesses both women and effeminate males ...