Brazil's thriving African culture

Published 9:30 AM ET, Tue October 23, 2012
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Carnival celebrations in Salvador. Carnival is the grandest holiday in Brazil, drawing millions in celebrations leading up to Fat Tuesday, before the start of Lent. The origins of Carnival combine the Catholic festival celebrations of Portuguese colonialists and the music and dancing of African slaves. Getty Images
Samba dancers perform during a parade celebrating Brazil's independence from Portugal 190 years ago, at Independence park in Sao Paulo. Samba was developed in Brazil by the descendants of African slaves and draws on West African influences. AFP/Getty Images
Salvador, in Bahia state, northeast Brazil, is the country's third largest city and was the country's first colonial capital. It has strong African roots and is the center for Afro-Brazilian culture. Getty Images
Dancers from a samba school on a float representing African slaves during the first night of carnival parade in the giant Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro. AFP/Getty Images
Members of a quilombo community in Vao de Almas, Brazil. Quilombo communities were formed by escaped slaves during the Portuguese colonialism and many are isolated from modern Brazil. The 400 families living in Vao de Almas have no road, water, electricity, telephone or doctor. AFP/Getty Images
Orixas, deities of the Candomble religion, have been built in Salvador, northeastern Brazil. Salvador, which has a large Afro-Brazilian population, has many followers of Candomble. AFP/Getty Images
An artist performs in front of the old Basilica of Our Lady of Aparecida in Aparecida during Brazilian patron saint's day. Some people believe that the 39-cm-high teracotta statuette of Our Lady of Aparecida was found by runaway slaves on their way to a quilombo community. AFP/ Getty Images