Hamba Celebration

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A rare account of daily life and ceremony in a Congo forest village, at the end of the colonial era.
In 1954, during an ethnographic mission in Belgian Congo, Luc de Heusch, fitted with a small Bell & Howelle camera and with one of the first magnetic ring sound recorder, filmed the daily ceremonial life of a village of a Congolese forest in the former province of Kasaï. The movie’s first version, “Fête chez les Hamba” has been showed in 1956 at the ‘Musée de l’Homme’ in Paris during the First International Forum of the Ethnographic Film organized at Jean Rouch’s initiative. In 1997, Luc de Heusch went about the image and the sound restoration thanks to the help of the RTBF, the Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique and the FOBRA. This new editing is the definitive version of one of the very rare evidences of the traditional social life in an African community during the Belgian colonization.


1955. 16 mm., black and white, 55′. New version 1998.


Director : Luc de Heusch
Script : Luc de Heusch
Image : Luc de Heusch
Editor : Emmanuelle Dupuis
Voice : Jean-François Bastin & Marc Moulin
Restoration of the original recordings: Jean-Claude Boulanger
Sonorisation : Jean-Claude Boulanger
Sound editor : Bertrand Leroy



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