Documentary: Feast of the Sacred Ox (1978), by Ruy Duarte de Carvalho

1979, 42 min, 16mm, copy from DVD.
From “RDC Virtual” (Vimeo) collection

Ruy Duarte de Carvalho (1941-2010) was one of the great anthropologists and ethnographers of southern Angola, having published extensively (and experimentally) on the ways of life of transhumant pastors in Huíla and Namibe. This documentary on the rituals surrounding oxen among Nyaneka-Humbe is an example of this.

Synopsis and information: Annually, the procession of the sacred ox marks a pause in “mumuila” time, without heavy or agricultural work. The procession of the sacred ox takes it and two other oxes to visit all the houses in the area, during a period of about 3 weeks. The feast of the last 3 days is held near the home of the former king of Jau, eating and drinking, feeding the ox, and there is still room for speeches from those who have something to say, moments of dance and re-enactments, ending with a speech by the king. The film records only the public moments and events of these celebrations. Filmed during the sacred ox festival in 1978. Copy with short spikes of sound.

Taken from RDC Virtual, a page that digitized and collected the entire film production by Ruy Duarte de Carvalho.


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