Earlyth-century Londoners were fascinated by scientific and not-so-scientific discoveries and curiosities. It is an important and necessary contribution to the existing discourse on Sara Baartman’s impact on contemporary ideas of race, sexuality and the European conception of primitivity. Her mother died when she was one year old; her father was murdered when she was a teenager. Penguins indicate the health of local ecosystems A new study has linked penguin foraging behaviour and chick condition to local fish stocks, making a case for including the species in ecosystem checks. The term ‘Hottentot’ connoted a contradictory mixture of innocence and carnality in 19th-century England. She will not display her sexual parts. Saartjie died in December, probably of pneumonia exacerbated by alcoholism.

In Paris she attracted the attention of French scientists, in particular Georges Cuvier. It is February Read time 7 min. Often ill in the unfamiliar climate or, increasingly, drunk, she was seen by audiences as, by turns, bold, witty, tired, reluctant, innocent or reckless. But in recent decades, historiography has opened up our knowledge of the past by roaming far beyond the conventional confines of warfare and political economy and, in the process, uncovered terrific stories, such as the shameful and tragic tale of the hapless Sara Baartman. Baartman lived in poverty, and died in Paris of an undetermined inflammatory disease in December

Of course, we remember that Jane Austen was writing at this time, even if she seldom deigned to mention current events; and who can forget baarhman early 19th century Empire style of dresses, which hearkened back to the simplicity of Ancient Greece and foretold the freer fashions of the s?

It is unknown if Baartman went willingly or was forced, but she was in no position to refuse even if she chose to do so. Koleka Putuma, who has made her name in South Africa and internationally through hard-hitting poetry, opened the exhibition with a powerful eesay, articulating the pain to which black women are subjected.

La Belle Hottentota 19th-century French print of Baartman.

Exhibit B, a human zoo”. Her story becomes marginalized, as it is always used to illustrate some other topic. Holmes is forced to reconstruct. A guest at the opening writes on the wall that has been set aside for visitors to the basrtman to share their reflections. During —70, there were at least seven scientific descriptions of the bodies of women of color done in comparative anatomy.


They crowded into fairground tents and gimcrack Piccadilly exhibition rooms to gawp at Siamese twins, stuffed birds and animals from far-off lands, and demonstrations of electricity.

sarah baartman essay

Saartjie Baartman appeared on stage almost naked, in a skin-tight, flesh-coloured body stocking with a small embroidered apron covering her pubis and long strings of tribal beads.

Dunlop schemed to have Baartman exhibited and Cesars was the showman.

The Hottentot Venus – Sarah Baartman

What if she went willingly? Saartjie died at the end ofaged baqrtman Because of their diligent research and their deep understanding of the era in which she lived — along with their sensitivity to our own time and concerns — they have truly given us the “living breathing person” that was “Sara Baartman, the human being who was ultimately destroyed by an illusion.

Legal attempts to rescue her from bondage failed when the exhibitors successfully argued that Sara was a free contractor. Temple University Press, This month Sara Baartman features in an exhibition about “exotic” baartmah to Britain, bawrtman Omai and Dalip Singh – more or less honourably received as celebrities – and the Aboriginal Australians Bennelong and Yemmerrawanne who, like her, were regarded as almost sub-human curiosities.

Sarah Baartman

Taylor then sold her to an animal trainerS. Eesay England both celebrated and deplored excess, grossness, bawdiness and the uncontainable.

From low to high culture, Britain was a nation obsessed by buttocks, bums, arses, posteriors, rumps – and with every metaphor, joke or pun that could be squeezed from this fundamental distraction. A writ of habeas corpus was issued against Cesars and Dunlop.

Sarah Baartman Essay

But as far as her interviewers were concerned, ‘to the various questions we put to her whether, if she chose at any time to discontinue her person being exhibited, she might do so, we could not draw a satisfactory answer from her. Saartjie was not abartman the African woman most frequently represented in racially marked British and French visual culture, she also had less immediately visible influences on western art.


Today, sadly, Black people help promote this dis-respect of The Black Woman.

Supporting the long-running campaign for the return of Saartjie’s remains initiated by the anthropologist Professor Philip Tobias, Mandela told Mitterrand that it was time for her to come home. Baartman, along with several other African women who were dissected, were referred to as Hottentots, or sometimes Bushwomen. Having been enslaved, she was taken to Europe by a member of the family that “owned” and exhibited her much as an exotic animal might be.

Hendriks worked as the manservant of Alexander Dunlop, an irascible and eccentric British Army surgeon.

Sarah Baartman – Wikipedia

This entry was posted on October 17, at 6: Venus, Roman goddess of love, was born in the sea and saah to earth floating on a scallop shell. There is no historical documentation of her indigenous Khoisan name. Plaster casts were taken of her body.

sarah baartman essay

Claiming right of possession to Saartjie’s remains and honouring her as a heroic national ancestor was the first act of international cultural reparation made on behalf of free South Africa. In telling her extraordinary story, Rachel Holmes’s fascinating book illuminates the forces which dominated her age, and resound in our own. Read time 7 min. Saartjie appeared on stage between twelve o’clock and four o’clock, six days a week, in a prime location at Piccadilly funded by the sale of the giraffe skinwhere she stood alongside a mock-up of an African village.