Scientific Racism Ota Benga the human exhibited at the Bronx Zoo
Ota Benga, the pygmy held captive at the 1904 St. Louis worlds fair, American Museum of Natural History and as a human zoo exhibit in New York.
Scientific Racism and the Human Zoo.
The editorial also declared, “As for Benga himself, he is probably enjoying himself as well as he could anywhere in his country, and it is absurd to make moan over the imagined humiliation and degradation he is suffering.” Claiming, “Pygmies are very low in the human scale, “We do not quite understand all the emotion which others are expressing in the matter,” the paper said in an unsigned editorial. “Ota Benga, according to our information, is a normal specimen of his race or tribe, with a brain as much developed, as are those of its other members. Whether they are held to be illustrations of arrested development, and really closer to the anthropoid apes than the other African savages, or whether they are viewed as the degenerate descendants of ordinary Negroes, they are of equal interest to the student of ethnology, and can be studied with profit.”
Ota Benga, in Africa, had children and was married twice but all his loved ones were either murdered or died of disease.