The cultural heritage stems from the estimated four million slaves that were brought to the country over a 300 tear period, at least four times as many as to the United States.
Brazil was the last country to abolish the slave trade in 1888. More than half of Brazilians now identify themselves as black or of mixed race, according to the latest census.
Rio de Janeiro now has the most famous carnival in the world attracting an estimated 1.1 million visitors to the city this year and with 5.3 million people taking part in the street parties, according to the English language newspapers the Rio Times.
|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.
|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
|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.
Ana de la Merced Guimaraes, the homeowner who discovered the bones in her courtyard, said: "When we started a reform in our house, we found all these bones. We thought it was a family grave, but there was so much we thought maybe it had been a serial killer. "But then we calmed down and talked about it and called a lawyer and the police. And he said don't worry, we aren't going to accuse you, it's probably something very old. "A neighbor told us, a long time ago, your street was a slave cemetery." Brazil's third city Salvador, in Bahia state, northeast Brazil, has some of the strongest links to Africa. Salvador was the first colonial capital of Brazil and its central district, Pelourinho, now a UNESCO world heritage site, was the New World's first slave market from 1553, according to UNESCO.