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Encyclopedia > Umbanda

Umbanda is a religion that blends Catholicism, Kardecist Spiritualism, and Afro-Brazilian religions . It originated in Brazil in the early 20th century through a medium, Zélio Fernandino de Moraes, who worked among the Afro-Brazilian population of Rio de Janeiro. It has since spread across Brazil and to Uruguay and Argentina. The term "Umbanda" derives from Kimbundu, an Angolan language, and means "religious practitioners". As a Christian ecclesiastical term, Catholic - from the Greek adjective , meaning general or universal[1] - is described in the Oxford English Dictionary as follows: ~Church, (originally) whole body of Christians; ~, belonging to or in accord with (a) this, (b) the church before separation into Greek or Eastern and Latin or... Kardecist Spiritism or Kardecism is a spiritualistic doctrine created in the 19th century by Allan Kardec. ... Afro-Brazilian or African Brazilian is the term used to racially categorise Brazilian citizens of some or full Black African origin, yet it is rarely used in Brazil. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999... Location of Rio de Janeiro Coordinates: Country Brazil Region Southeast State Rio de Janeiro  - Mayor Cesar Maia (PFL) Area    - City 1,260 km² Population (2005)[1][2]  - City 5,613,000  - Density 4,781/km²  - Metro 11,620,000 Time zone UTC-3 (UTC-3) Website: www. ... Kimbundu is one of the most spoken pre-colonial languages in central africa. ...

Umbanda is a syncretic religion based on the worship of Angolan spirits, brought to Brazil by the African slaves during the colonial period, and on elements drawn from Brazilian popular culture. Additionally, Orixás, from the Yoruba pantheon, are given token rule over the various legions of spirits and are associated with a Catholic saint under whose guidance the spirits work. This association started during the time when the african slaves in Brazil were persecuted by their owners for practicing their religion. The solution they found was to hide the original worshipping objects that represented the spiritual entities under different Catholic saint statues in order to give the slave owners the impression that they were worshipping that saint, which had the same personality or qualities of the worshipped entity. Syncretism is the attempt to reconcile disparate, even opposing, beliefs and to meld practices of various schools of thought. ... Spirits redirects here. ... A world map showing the continent of Africa. ... Colonial Period can refer to: Period of Japanese Rule (Korea) Colonial America This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... This article is about the type of spirit. ... The mythology of the Yorùbá is sometimes claimed by its supporters to be one of the worlds oldest widely practised religions. ... In traditional Christian iconography, Saints are usually depicted as having halos. ...



Basically, the spiritual universe of Umbanda is divided in 'falanges' or legions of spirits, which 'work' under the command of a higher spirit. The main 'falanges' represented in Umbanda are as follows:

  1. Caboclo (native Brazilian) - linked to the Catholic saint San Sebastian and representing spirits of native Brazilian indians. They are highly knowledgeable about herbs, often prescribing herbal remedies.
  2. Preto Velho (Old Slave) - linked to Saint Anthony and/or Saint Benedict and representing spirits of old slaves who died in captivity. These are very peaceful and kind spirits, that know all about suffering, compassion, forgiveness and hope. They also often prescribe herbal remedies.
  3. The Yabas:
    1. Yemanjá - linked to the ocean and mermaids, it represents the feminine universal principle. It is considered patron of fishermen. Once a year on February 02 and/or December 31, people in Brazil go to the beaches by the thousands, dressed in white, to offer gifts of flowers, candles, perfume, mirrors, etc. to this entity.
    2. Oxum - linked to the rivers and waterfalls, it also represents the feminine principle. The entity was one of Xango's wives in the African pantheon.
    3. Iansã - linked to the wind, tempests and lightning bolts, this is the Orisha of passion, a warrior, and has absolute power over Exus. She was Xangô's other wife in the African pantheon.
  4. Xangô - linked to St. John the Baptist, this is the Orisha of justice and represents rocks and mountains.
  5. Ogun - linked to St. George, this orisha is protector of people in the military and is usually evoked when someone wants to win some sort of battle or struggle.
  6. Omulu/Abaluaye - this 'falange' is linked to St. Lazarus and rules over diseases, epidemies, illnesses, etc.
  7. Exús - This 'falange' has female and male spirits which seem to be linked to the devil but is also described as an intermediator among the other seven falanges.

For other uses, see Sebastian (disambiguation). ... Saint Anthony the Great (251 - 356), also known as Saint Anthony of Egypt, Saint Anthony of the Desert, Saint Anthony the Anchorite, and The Father of All Monks, was an Egyptian Christian saint and the outstanding leader among the Desert Fathers, who were Christian monks in the Egyptian desert in... Saint Benedict of Nursia (c. ... In Yorùbá mythology, Yemoja is a mother goddess; patron deity of women, especially pregnant women; and the Ogun river (the waters of which are said to cure infertility). ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Ochun. ... An Orisha, also spelled Orisa and Orixa, is a spirit that reflects one of the manifestations of Olodumare (God) in the Yoruba spiritual or religious system. ... In Yorùbá mythology, Shango (Xango, Shango), or Changó in Latin America, is perhaps the most popular Orisha; he is a Sky Father, god of thunder and the ancestor of the Yoruba. ... Mural depiction of Jesus baptism by the hand of John, Jordan River, Jordan The excavated remains of the baptism site in Bethany beyond the Jordan John the Baptist (also called John the Baptiser, or Yahya the Baptiser) was a 1st century Jewish preacher and ascetic regarded as a prophet by... In Haitian Vodun, Ogoun (or Ogun) is a loa who presides over fire, iron, politics and war. ... Saint-George is a municipality with 695 inhabitants (as of 2003) in the district of Aubonne in the canton of Vaud, Switzerland. ... In the cult of Orishas, Babalu Aye is the spirit of illness and disease. ... Resurrection of Lazarus by Juan de Flandes, around 1500 Lazarus is the name of two separate characters in the New Testament. ... Eshu represented in concrete with his features made with cowrie shells. ... The Devil is a title given to the supernatural entity, who, in Christianity, Islam, and other faiths, is a powerful evil entity and the tempter of humankind. ...


Umbanda is an urban phenomenon grounded in Central African influences but borrowing heavily from European influences and is integrated into urban environs. Many ritual sites (called tendas or terreiros) look like ordinary houses when seen from the street, and some often indeed double as dwellings. Larger, more middle class Umbanda houses often are laid out in a fashion similar to a church. Atabaques (Conga drums) and chanting play a central role in some Umbanda congregations but are almost non-existent in others. The head of the terreiro is called "pai-de-santo" ("father-of-saint") or "mãe-de-santo" ("mother-of-saint") and his or her intiates are usually called "filhos-de-santo" ("children-of-saint", masculine plural form), just to show the structure within the religion. That doesn't mean that they are considered saints, though, but only that they're responsible for certain rituals related to each saint. The atabaque (Pronounced: Ah-tah-bah-keh) is a tall, wooden, Afro-Brazilian hand drum. ... A chant is the rhythmic speaking or singing of words or sounds, either on a single pitch or with a simple notes and often including a great deal of repetition or statis. ... A Pai-de-santo is a male priest in the Afro-Brazilian religions. ... A Mãe-de-santo means a female priest in the Afro-Brazilian religions. ...

Each Umbanda terreiro practices the religion with variations, according to the policies of the pai-de-santo as well as in accordance with the teachings and philosophies of the various sub-traditions within Umbanda. Worship may involve sacrifices to the deities (such as hens, cheap wine, farofa, cachaça, popcorn, cigarettes, hard cider and other types of foodstuffs or beverages, depending on the 'falange' or "saint") and has initiation rites that range from the simple to complex. "Pais de santo" and "Mães de santo" also play divination using the "jogo de búzios" which is reading of the arrangement of small sea shells), as well as cards (Tarot, Lenormand Cards and Playing Cards). They also give advice to those who seek it and produce "strong prayers" (Rezas fortes) for those who need them to evade troubles with the other people, lack of money, sexual impotence, and other challenges people may face in their lives. A Pai-de-santo is a male priest in the Afro-Brazilian religions. ... Farofa is a widely varying flavoring dish conumend in South America. ... Cachaça Java, from Salinas-MG, Brazil Cachaça or cashasa (pronounced ka SHA sa, IPA: ) (also called pinga, branquinha, caninha, aquela que matou o guarda, caxa, aguardente, cana or mé) is the most popular distilled alcoholic beverage in Brazil, made from sugarcane juice (also called garapa). ... Popcorn Popcorn or popping corn is a type of maize which explodes from the kernel and puffs up when it is heated in oil or by dry heat. ... A lit cigarette will burn to ash from one end. ... Cider has different meanings in the United Kingdom and the United States. ... Initiation rites are formalized, ceremonial rites of passage as an individual moves from stage to stage within a social career or formally acquires such status. ... This article is about the religious practice of divination. ... This article is about the religious practice of divination. ... Economics offers various definitions for money, though it is now commonly defined by the functions attached to any good or token that functions in trade as a medium of exchange, store of value, and unit of account. ... Impotence or, more clinically, erectile dysfunction is the inability to develop or maintain an erection of the penis for satisfactory sexual intercourse regardless of the capability of ejaculation. ...


Umbanda grew rapidly in the latter half of the 20th century. Brazil went from having around 50,000 terreiros in the 1960s to 300,000 by the early 1980s. At that time there were also 300 terreiros in Uruguay and 200 in Argentina.

Until the second half of the 20th century, all Afro-Brazilian religions were considered criminal activity by the Brazilian government and periodically repressed. More recently they have become part of popular culture as many novelists and songwriters have written or sung about them. Several of Jorge Amado's works, for instance, are concerned with the trials and tribulations of the Afro-Brazilians. From the 1960s, many songs about Umbanda and the other Afro-Brazilian religions became popular. Among the famous Brazilian composers who treated the subject, Tom Jobim, Toquinho, Vinícius de Moraes, Geraldo Vandré and Clara Nunes are the most widely known. In the 1970s, poet Vinícius de Moraes married his last wife, Gesse, in an Umbandist ceremony witnessed by many prominent figures of Brazilian culture and politics. Afro-Brazilian or African Brazilian is the term used to racially categorise Brazilian citizens of some or full Black African origin, yet it is rarely used in Brazil. ... Jorge Amado. ... The 1960s decade refers to the years from January 1, 1960 to December 31, 1969, inclusive. ... Antonio Carlos Jobim (born Antonio Carlos Brasileiro de Almeida Jobim, January 25, 1927 - December 8, 1994), also called Tom Jobim, was a Brazilian composer, arranger, singer, pianist and one of the greatest legends of bossa nova. ... Toquinho is a Brazilian singer and guitarist. ... Vinicius de Moraes (October 19, 1913 - July 9, 1980), born as Marcus Vinícius da Cruz de Melo Morais in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was a seminal figure in contemporary Brazilian music. ... Clara Nunes is a popular samba artist in Brazil. ... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, inclusive. ... Vinicius de Moraes (October 19, 1913 - July 9, 1980), born as Marcus Vinícius da Cruz de Melo Morais in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was a seminal figure in contemporary Brazilian music. ...

Umbanda is juxtaposed with Quimbanda which now reclaims its identity as a separate, more African religion and distinct from both Macumba/Umbanda and Candomblé. Quimbanda is an Afro-American traditional religion found in Brazil. ... Macumba is a word of African (Bantu) origins. ... Ilê Axé Iya Nassô Oká - Terreiro da Casa Branca Candomblé is an African religion practiced chiefly in Brazil but also in adjacent countries. ...

In recent times, some evangelical Christian groups, which have gained many adherents in Latin America in the last two decades, have begun attempting to evangelize and, in some cases, persecute practitioners of Umbanda and other African-derived religions. Some persecutions have involved violence. Practitioners of these religions have taken cases to national courts and achieved a measure of success. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Christianity. ... Latin America consists of the countries of South America and some of North America (including Central America and some the islands of the Caribbean) whose inhabitants mostly speak Romance languages, although Native American languages are also spoken. ...

Famous Umbandists

Clara Nunes is a popular samba artist in Brazil. ... Vinicius de Moraes (October 19, 1913 - July 9, 1980), born as Marcus Vinícius da Cruz de Melo Morais in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was a seminal figure in contemporary Brazilian music. ... Raul Seixas (June 28, 1945 – August 21, 1989), was a Brazilian composer, singer, and songwriter. ...

External links

  • Adriana Berlinski is actual medium of Caboclo das 7 Encruzilhadas - Umbanda's Creator
  • - AEVB - Associação Espírita Vó Barbina
  • - Umbanda Nova Era
  • - Casa Branca de Omolu
  • - GRUEL - Grupo Umbanda é Luz
  • - Nzo Quimbanda Exu Ventania
  • - Umbanda Kimbanda Fevsiha

  Results from FactBites:
Umbanda (756 words)
Umbanda is a syncretic religion that emerged from the Macumba which in turn, originated out of the African Banto religions.
Umbanda is very rich in symbols and in cabalistic symbols.
As a syncretic religion in the "conga" (altar) are found images of Christ, Mary, and Various Saints from the Christian tradition, Buddha, from the Buddhist tradition, Iemanjá and others from the Candomblé tradition, indigenous and pretos-velhos (old-fls) from the Brazilian tradition, gypsies and dissimulated representations of demons.
Ing-txt (4527 words)
Umbanda’s Pantheon is a meeting of spiritual entities linked to Orixás and it is characterized by the great amount of these entities.
Umbanda's practices are influenced by the several practices adopted of another religions, even so the ones that prevail are the one of African origin.
Considered as OXÓSI's phalangers, Caboclos of UMBANDA are the consultants and even witchdoctor, move away the obsessores, teaching to the followers the use of this or of that herb, for this or that purpose.
  More results at FactBites »



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