After 186 Years, Human Rites

Old Blog Import

They buried Saartjie Baartman, known as Sarah, today in a solemn ceremony on a small hill overlooking this Gamtoos River town, where she was born 213 years ago. She died in 1816, a pauper and a prostitute, a circus sideshow who was sold to a British Marine surgeon who saw in the protruding derriere that was characteristic of her Khoisan tribe some proof of whites’ racial superiority. He took her to London and put her in a cage for all the world to see.

Things got worse. The surgeon sold her to an animal trainer, who took her to France. She was put on display in Paris, where gawkers sized up her nude form and named her the "Hottentot Venus."”