Photo and caption by Matt Levitch
Followers of the spiritist faith María Lionza perform a ritual healing ceremony in the forests of a sacred mountain. Practiced primarily in Venezuela, the religion is a complex synthesis of Amerindian traditions, West African animism, Kardecist spiritism, and folk Catholicism. María Lionza, a mythological mother-goddess figure revered as a guardian of nature, heads a pantheon of spirits in the religious movement named in her honor. Through elaborate ceremonies often involving trance, the faithful summon these divine spirits to hear their pleas, grant wishes, and perform miracles.
Location: Montaña Sorte, Yaracuy, Venezuela