Sara “Saartije” Bartmaan.
A Khoikhoi woman from South Africa was brought over to London, and was displayed in a building as a freak show because of her large breasts, hips, buttocks and labia (part of the vagina) and of course her dark skin.
She was exhibited like an animal and made to dance for the amusement of white men.
She was then transported to France and sold to a man who showcased animals.
He too reaped financial benefits from her unusual body, and began displaying her in a cage alongsinde a baby rhinoceros.
Eventually the show lost its appeal, and Sara was forced to become a prostitute to avoid poverty.
Sara eventually died (there is no surety of what caused her death) in 1816 at the age of 26.
After her death, Sara’s body was dissected, a plaster cast of her naked body was created, and her brain and genitals were pickled, placed into jars and put on display at the Musée de (Museum of Man) until 1974.
Following the African National Congress (ANC)’s victory in the South African elections, President Nelson Mandela requested that the French government return the remains of Sara Baartman so that she could be laid to rest. The process took eight years, as the French had to draft a carefully worded bill that would not allow other countries to claim treasures taken by the French.
Finally on the sixth of March 2002, Sara Baartman was brought back home to South Africa where she was buried. On 9 August 2002, Women’s Day, a public holiday in South Africa, Sara was buried at Hankey in the Eastern Cape Province.
Many may say that Sara Bartmaan was the first video vixen.
Have we moved forward?
Was her life and death in vain?
Have we allowed her to lay to rest or are we constantly disturbing her grave with the large number of individuals who willingly put themselves in a cage with a master who tells them how to sit and stand the way a circus trainer would an animal?
#foodforthought #blackhistory #History #sarabartmaan #videovixen #prostitution #body #bigbutt #breasts