Sarah Baartman: The South African Woman Whose Elongated Labia and Exotic Buttocks Made Her a Freak Show Exhibit 1

 Sarah Baartman: The South African Woman Whose Elongated Labia and Exotic Buttocks Made Her a Freak Show Exhibit

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Sarah Baartman also known as Saartje Baartman was a Khosa born in South Africa in the year 1789. Sarah gained popularity for being exhibited as a freak show attraction in Europe because of her large backside which was thought to be unusual and exotic during that time.
Baartman was a member of the Khoikhoi group living in South Africa. At a young age, she was taken away from home by William Dunlop, a British ship’s doctor who promised her work as a servant based in Capetown. Instead of taking her job as a servant, she was flown to England where she exhibited as a sideshow attraction under “Hottentot Venus.”
 Sarah Baartman: The South African Woman Whose Elongated Labia and Exotic Buttocks Made Her a Freak Show Exhibit 2
Sarah was put on display in Paris and London where people paid to gawk at her. Her large buttocks and elongated labia were considered unusual by most people. She was forced to perform tricks and entertainment for the spectators but was treated poorly and was not paid after her performances.
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In 1815, Sarah died of Syphilis at the age of 26. She was severely sexually assaulted and her captors were paid to experience the Hottentot Venus. Her remains were dissected and displayed in Paris. The South African government campaigned for the return of her remains to her home country and she was finally laid to rest in 2002. Sarah Bartman’s story is a tragic one reminding us of the mistreatment of black people throughout history.
 Sarah Baartman: The South African Woman Whose Elongated Labia and Exotic Buttocks Made Her a Freak Show Exhibit 3 1042

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