Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Umbanda - Part B

FuFu Life in Curitiba - Brazil
24th July 2010 | Part Six


FuFu was welcomed by the priest and everyone was clapping!

FuFu from Malasia (Malaysia).

Most followers of Umbanda believe that there are three distinct levels of spirits. (Source : Wikipedia)

1. Pure Spirits - this level includes the angels, archangels, cherubim and seraphim, spirits that reached spiritual perfection. They are equated to the Biblical entities that communicated with the prophets and the Virgin Mary.

2. Good Spirits - this level includes the spirits that possess mediums (psychics) or initiates during the Umbanda public ceremonies and act as Guias (guides) giving counseling to the believers.

3. Darker Spirits - this level comprises spirits like the Exus and Pomba Giras of Quimbanda which practices are typically associated with magic, rituals involving animal sacrifice.

The Law of the Reincarnation states that God creates spirits with self-will all the time. The spirits universally pass through many stages of evolution. They have the choice of being good or bad, through ordinary acts and the love that they display towards other people. When they "die", the spirits judge themselves. The good ones advance to a superior stage of spiritual evolution. Those who not succeed should reincarnate in the same or in an inferior level.

Umbanda ceremony are generally open to the public and may take place several times a week. Atabaques (Conga drums) and chanting play a central role in some Umbanda congregations. The ceremonies may include offers to the spirits comprising fruits, cheap wine, farofa, cachaça, popcorn, cigarettes, hard cider and other types of food or beverages. Each Orixá or spirit receives a proper offering, and initiation rites that range from the simple to complex.

During the ceremony, the priests (Pai de Santo) and priestesses (Mãe de Santo), devotees (Filhos de Santo) and the public attending the meeting sing together, dance, drink beverages and smoke cigars (during the break and second part of the ceremony). The priests and priestesses and devotees are separated from the attending public, usually by a small fence. The priests, priestesses and the devotees would eventually get immersed in the singing and dancing session, and suddenly get possessed by deities and spirits, starting to act and speak with their personas while whirling.

Those in the public attending who become possessed are recognized as owners of special psychic power and, usually, after the ceremony, are invited to become followers or believers. Intervention by spiritual beings in followers' daily lives is a central belief, so participation in Umbanda rites is important to appease deities and spirits. Music and dancing are always present in the Umbanda rituals. The public sing together the "pontos", religious songs intended to improve the psychics' concentration level. Sometimes, an experienced priests or priestesses or devotees can dance and sing all night without, for mysterious reasons, being possessed by deities or spirits. Sometimes, people use an alcoholic beverage like cachaça to induce the trance.

對大部分的追隨者認為, Umbanda 共有三個不同層次的精神.(資料來源:維基百科)

1 無邪的精神 - 這一級包括了天使們
完美精神的階層. 它們是等同於可以與聖經和聖母瑪利亞達到實體溝通和先知的層次.

2 良好的精神 - 這精神的層面
包括了心理學上所謂的媒介精神. 或在Umbanda 的儀式祭司給予信徒適當的輔導.

3 較深層次的精神 - 這精神有點像Quimbanda
其中的做法, 禮儀都會跟 Exus 和 Pomba Giras 的魔幻部分很相同.

關於轉世輪回的方面
, 上帝每時每刻都創造有意志的精神. 普遍的靈魂或精神都會經過許多階段的變化. 轉世輪回是好還是壞都可以選擇的. 這都通過平常的行為及對其他的人的愛. 當一個人死了之後靈魂或精神就會衡量拿一個人. 有良好的精神就可以前進到上級精神的進化階段. 那些不好的精神就會轉世到跟前世那一樣的境界或轉世到更劣勢的境界.

Umbanda 儀式一般都
向公眾開放. 有的就每一個星期兩三次. 在一些Umbanda 的聚會裏 Atabaques (非洲的康加鼓) 和歌頌都扮演著重要的角色. 水果, 便宜的葡萄酒, 甘蔗酒, 爆米花, 香煙, 硬蘋果酒和其他類型的食物或飲料都可以作爲禮拜的供奉品給 . 給每個 Orixá或每一個精神主神的供奉品可以從簡單到複雜或者昂貴的.

在儀式上
, 祭司,女祭司,信徒和公眾出席會議一起唱歌, 跳舞,喝飲料及煙雪茄. 通常每一次的禮拜, 祭司, 女祭司, 信徒都會在其他普通的信仰者前面跳舞唱歌. 然後祭司, 女祭司和信徒會陶醉在唱歌和跳舞, 突然地會得到一些神奇力量, 然後就開始跟神或一些其它精神主神溝通交流 (這所謂我們的"上身").

那些在公眾參加誰成為業主確認為具有特殊的精神動力和
, 通常在Umbanda 儀式結束後, 那些相信Umbanda 有特殊的精神力量都會被邀請成為信徒. 在我們普通人的日常生活裏鬼與神的干預是難免的, 所以參與 Umbanda 的儀式最重要的是安撫每一位有困擾的信仰者. 那麽在Umbanda 的儀式上音樂和舞蹈總是分不開. 這因爲宗教歌曲以及適當的舞蹈可以提高注意力和通靈的能力. 有時候, 有經驗的祭司或信徒可以一整晚都跳舞唱歌, 因爲這都是被附身的神或精神 (我們所謂的"上身"). 但是, 有些人就喝甘蔗酒的強烈酒精飲料, 誘導恍惚, 令自己High然後就可以跳舞唱歌不會覺得累 (這跟我們現代人在Disco的情形一模一樣).


Check out the video especially from 2:22.

While the priests, devotees and some of the public gradually get immersed in the singing and dancing, and suddenly some of the devotees got possessed by deities and spirits, starting to act and speak with their personas. Amazing whirling. Check out the video above!



After both singing and dancing sessions, some of the public attending that wish to be followers/believers were called in front and see how little ceremony done by the priests and priestess. Also check out the statues they are praying every time and also the pictures of the deceased reputable priests.




Then, the priests and priestesses would do the prayers for every participant. See how they spread the holy water on me while singing. Hence, FuFu now is protected by Umbanda's spirit. Hooray! Stay strong FuFu.

There's a sexy Brazilian girl dancing in front of FuFu.

Belly dance? Check it out! LOL

The priest then came and talked to my Oldy (my host). Oldy told me that the priest wanna invite me to join the new followers in front and i was sitting on a chair. There, surrounded by the devotees who danced happily and the priest showered me holy water and did his prayers to also the new followers. Quite an interesting ceremony as i could sit in front watching every little stuff clearly but was not sure what the offering they were using except candles and holy water.

A devotee volunteered to take the video for FuFu.

See FuFu? The guy on the right with dark blue sweater.

"Ayeye, Ayeye...", the priest kept repeating. See how the devotees communicate with their own persona/spiritual god. They were dancing so HIGH, as if after having drug. The prayers of priest and priestess, however, couldn't be shown clearly from this clip and i was told to close my eyes.

All devotees took turn to communicate with their own personas.


The priestess walked around and greeted all devotees and followers.

Check out the below videos for second part of the ceremony.

See how the priest give invisible power to the new followers.


Basically, the new followers or any participant who need help would tell the priests and priestesses their own problems. As you see from this video, once got the message told, the priest would ask the lady to have a sip of wine before giving her power from his body via both hands. Every priest or priestess would definitely have an assistant to bring people to the priest or priestess. Also before the counseling session started, priest or priestess would greet the follower (check out the video).

FuFu was wondering how could this lady be that HIGH?

See also how the other priest giving power to another lady.

Finally, a new follower managed to communicate with her persona.


During the second part of the ceremony, priests or priestesses play the "jogo de búzios," which is divination by the arrangement formed when sea snail shells are thrown in the soil (too bad i couldn't visit all counselling counters, just could show you guys some). Cards can be also used for reading (Tarot or simple playing cards), priests or priestesses also give advice to those who seek it and produce Rezas fortes ("strong prayers") for those who need them to evade troubles with other people, diseases, lack of money, marital quarrels, unrequited love, and other challenges. Foods, beverages (wine and cachaça), cigar smoking, etc were used for the divination. Interesting.

After all, it's a nice and interesting ceremonies to me who had just arrived Brazil. Yet, i still don't quite believe Umbanda. I was there just approximately two hours after all. Anyway, Brazil definitely has many more exotic cultures, religions, musics and art waiting me to explore. Stay tuned guys as i would do my best sharing all adventures i am going to have here in Brazil with you guys.

40 comments:

Ai Shiang said...

Super! Now, you're using videos huh? Easier that way :)

levian said...

you do learn a lot just by watching their rituals. even lucky to have joined them!

fufu said...

Ai Shiang : yeah taking video because photos at night will be bad... video is good so you guys can see the movement of the dances and also the singing session


levian : exactly :) damn super lucky :) still got more to explore here

San said...

好久不見了
一如既往
又看到你帥帥的照片 哈

fufu said...

San : 重點是Umbanda...不是我 ><

Casendra said...

That is really special! :)

Life for Beginners said...

This is interesting. It actually reminds me less of Christian/Catholic rituals that we are familiar with here in Malaysia and more like the Hindu/Indian rites... very spiritual. :)

Bananazஇ said...

Ayeye..Ayeye..were you in any way got 'possessed' during the ceremony? Looks like lots of ritual going on. Like your sharing of 3 spirits..tQ

Bananazஇ said...

The last video sort of portray a'gypsy' thingy to me with tarot cards reading..interesting videos. Wonder how you would 'react' and communicate with your own persona?

Sebastian Workshop said...

好长呀,有空时才来爬!!!!

[SK] said...

this is really eye-opening huh.. i guess the video really tells a lot, better than reading long text.. haha!!

Akira 思胜 said...

还好有你介绍, 不然我真的不懂也...

fufu said...

Casendra : yes :) wish to explore capoiera next! :)


Life for Beginners : erm.... well still kinda special :)


Bananazஇ : with me communicating with the persona?? lol i am a free thinker... it's enough to witness all rituals but wont really into any one.. :) if possible...

fufu said...

Sebastian Workshop : ok sure! whenever you are time...


SK : yes! exactly, but the next time i go, with take pictures :)


Akira 思胜 : 對呀 如果你是我的host帶我去...我也不知道!!

冒牌周武王ΨomsΨ said...

they are so FRIENDLY!!!!!!! =)

fufu said...

冒牌周武王ΨomsΨ : haha yeah :) because i am the only foreigner i guess!!

Bengbeng said...

i like yr videos more than pics. more informative

fufu said...

Bengbeng : glad to hear this :) so i would put up more videos in the future :) lol at least for every post ya :) will do my best =p

Winnt said...

Hei Brazilian 也相信轮回,很奇妙,今世来世???
巴西人的宗教热情也很奔放也综合了他们的舞蹈
Oiya, pls explore more the capoeira here ya but you have to dance and someone taking video for you LOL

bluecloud said...

is quite nice experience for u...is also for me too through ur sharing...
this religious more emphasize on good spirit a bit like hindu religious...

pusang kalye said...

you really did this? I mean, honestrly--I feel that its kinda weird stuff. I have nothing againt it but If I were in your situation, I might have felt uncomfortable watching....hehehe

edward said...

在这种怪异的宗教仪式气氛下,我怕我会觉得浑身不自在多过投入啊!你还有心情看在你面前的sexy lady,证明你也是投入不了囉!哈哈哈~~~

fufu said...

Winnt : 對呀 舞蹈不會離開任何活動的 :) 因爲可能跟他們的熱情有關係 :) 下一次一定會嘗試跳capioera 然後給你們看看 =p


bluecloud : hahhaa glad to hear this ya :) erm... yeah in some part, quite similar to hindu or other oriental religions :)


pusang kalye : well it was like watching a live documentary show of umbanda :)

fufu said...

edward : 我是打算把最好的錄影下來 然後跟你們分享 :) haha 去玩玩罷了...哪裏會認真的呢...

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fufu said...

阿葉 : 做什麽?? 沒有興趣...

London Caller said...

>Check out the video especially from 2:22.

Aiya... They copied Turkish people.
Did you see Whirling Dervishes in Turkey? Ha ha

fufu said...

London Caller : huuh are you sure? umbanda is from africa then mixed with brazilian christian... so now who copied who?

Ivan said...

Umbanda.. 有点不太明白呢.

fufu said...

Ivan : 有些宗教就是讓人摸不清 >< haha

迷迭香 said...

wat a great timing ~ =)

fufu said...

迷迭香 : hahaha lucky =p

JIPP said...

wahh. what an interesting experience. They seemed to be so devoted.

Anonymous said...

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dong ho said...

i hope that good and pure spirit are dominating.

very interesting as you continue to add more facts to this group.

海市蜃樓 said...

Umbanda,又學到一個生字!謝謝.

fufu said...

JIPP : yeah very devoted :) erm well happy to be there ya :)


Anonymous : huuh? my blog is not that good...


dong ho : yeah me too... but some of the people just manipulating the unique culture....

fufu said...

海市蜃樓 : 應該還有很多你可以學到的 :) lol

Ayie said...

it must be intense there, those vids made it easier to understand their rituals

fufu said...

Ayie : yeah the next time i visit...will take many pictures!! lol