Umbanda (Portuguese pronunciation: [ũˈbɐ̃dɐ]) is a syncreticAfro-Brazilian religion that blends African traditions with Roman Catholicism, Spiritism, and Indigenous American beliefs. 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 Niterói 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 slave descendants. Since then, Umbanda has spread across mainly southern Brazil and neighboring countries like Argentina and Uruguay.
Umbanda has many branches, each one with a different set of beliefs and practices. Some common beliefs are the existence of a Supreme Creator known as Olodumare. Other common beliefs are the existence of deities called Orixás, most of them syncretized with Catholic saints that act as divine energy and forces of nature; spirits of deceased people that counsel and guide practitioners 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.
Umbanda practitioners believe in a supreme creator god; the use of a medium to contact the spirits of deceased people; reincarnation and spiritual evolution through many physical existences; and the practice of charity.
The opposite side of the Umbanda (white magic), i.e., black magic – the practices that intended to cause evil doings, became known as Quimbanda. Umbanda is juxtaposed with Quimbanda which now reclaims its identity as a separate religion and distinct from Umbanda.
One hundred years after its establishment, Umbanda divided itself into several branches with different beliefs, creeds, and practices. Some of these branches are Umbanda d'Angola, Umbanda Jejê, Umbanda Ketu, and Umbanda Esotérica.