The Most Unlucky Woman That Was Paraded Like Animal In France
Saartjie Baartman, also called Sarah, was born in the late 18th century to Khosian parents. She was sold into slavely when the Dutch colonists had conflict with the Khoisan people in the Eastern Cape, she was transferred to Cape Town as a servant.
Sarah’ s nemesis started when she got to Cape Town due to her features like her large and protruding buttocks. Her shape and look caught the attention of William Dunlop.
Dunlop displayed Sarah’ s half naked body to anyone who was willing to pay a price and those that pay a higher fee could touch her body. There Sarah was given the name ” Hottentot Venus”
According to research, Sarah signed a contract with Dunlop but what was stated in the contract was that she would be exhibited for entertainment and also work as a servant. A portion of the money obtained from the entertainment will be given to her and she would be free to return to South Africa after five years.
But this was not so because she did not make it alive after being exhibited in London half naked. Sarah was shipped to France and sold to an animal handler. There she was paraded and like an animal while her organs were studied.
Here in France, her life became worse as she was forced into prostitution and also became a heavy smoker. This has led to lots of speculation as some people claim that she was given an opportunity to go home while others said she was brainwashed into continuing her show.
Sarah died from inflammatory disease at the age of 26. Her remains were dissected and studied by Cuvier. Her brain and genitals were placed in containers and displayed in Paris where it remained till 1974.
Thanks to President Nelson Mandela who requested that her remains should be returned to South Africa for burial. After much persuasion, her remains were released and buried in Gamtoos Valley in 2002.