Umbanda worshippers perform rituals in Brazil

Umbanda, an Afro-Brazilian religion that combines African religions with Catholicism and local indigenous beliefs, uses rituals to induce trances in worshippers who "incorporate" the spirits of slaves born in Africa and buried in Brazil.

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), ZĂ©lio 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.

Picture taken August 26, 2011. REUTERS/Nacho Doce

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