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Saturday, December 24, 2016

Hottentot Venus, Baby Got Back

Baby got back and treated like a sideshow freak, the short life of the Hottentot Venus Sarah Baartman playhouse of human oddities.



 Life of the African Hottentot Venus.


Born in 1789 and died in 1815, no photographs of Sarah Baartman, the Hottentot Venus exits, only drawings.
Sarah Baartman the Hottentot Venus
 The Hottentot Venus, Sarah Baatman was a Khoisan tribe woman from the Kalahari famous for the biggest butt the world has ever seen. Unable to read or write, she allegedly signed a contract with an English ship surgeon named William Dunlop. 

The terms of her contract were that she would travel with Hendrik Cezar and Dunlop to England and Ireland to work as a domestic servant, and be exhibited for entertainment purposes could return to South Africa after five years.



She was put on display in 1810 at carnivals of human curiosities, Piccadilly Circus and freak shows in London and Paris, with crowds invited to look at her large booty and genitals. Britains well to do society members gawked at, prodded and squeezed Sarahs so-called freakish human form which was paraded before them.

Sarahs promoters nicknamed her the Hottentot Venus. Hottentot now seen as derogatory was used by white Europeans to describe the Khoikhoi African peoples. Sarahs physical and economic exploitation became the rallying cry of abolitionists in London.

Activists were appalled at Sarahs treatment and how the African women were portrayed as wild sexual creatures shamed for having large bodies. Her employers were prosecuted for holding Sarah against her will, but not convicted, with Sarah herself testifying in their favor.

Sarah Baartman the Hottentot Venus was put on display in 1810 at carnivals of human curiosities, Piccadilly Circus and freak shows in London and Paris, with crowds invited to look at her large booty and genitals.
Britain's well to do society members gawked at, prodded and squeezed Sarah.
Sarahs show gradually lost its novelty and popularity among audiences in Paris and she went on tour around Britain and Ireland. A year before her death in 1814, Sarah worked for Reaux, an animal exhibitor in South Africa where she was exhibited in a cage alongside animals.

Born in South Africa's Eastern Cape in 1789, Sarah Baatman died on December 29, 1815 at the age of 26, but her exhibition continued. George Cuvier, a naturalist obtained her remains from local police and dissected her body. He made a plaster cast of her body, pickled her brain and genitals and placed them into jars that were placed on display at the Museum of Man until 1974.


In 1994, President Nelson Mandela requested that the French government return the remains of Sarah. The process took eight years but on March 6, 2002, Sarah was brought back home to South Africa. She was buried August 9, 2002, on Women’s Day at Hankey in the Eastern Cape Province. In Sarahs honor, South Africa's Eastern Cape Province Cacadu District was renamed the Sarah Baatman District in 2015.


Did you know?
Born in 1789 and died in 1815, no photographs of Sarah Baartman, the Hottentot Venus exits, only drawings. Sarah may have died from the result of health problems due to alcoholism.


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The eye never forgets what the heart has seen - African Proverb