Sarah Baartman Biography
(A Freak Show Attraction)
Born In: Gamtoos River, Kouga Local Municipality, South Africa
Sarah Baartman was a South African woman who became a source of amusement for the Europeans in 19th century due to her abnormally large buttocks. She belonged to Khoikoi community from Africa and was a freak show attraction, termed as ‘Hottentot Venus’. In the early 19th century, her employer brought her to the UK and organized shows to feature Sarah as the main attraction as a ‘freak of nature’. She spent four years like that in Europe, especially among the elite circles in London and Ireland, before she was helped by certain group of British abolitionists, who rescued her and sued the organization for the ‘indecency’ portrayed on the stage. The case was heard but the decision was made in favour of her exhibitions and she went on to perform as a freak on stage in other parts of Europe as well. She then became a subject to search on the missing links between animals and human beings and a few years later, she bid her farewell to the world due to a disease in 1815. Her remains were kept in the Museum of Man in Paris for the general public to see.