This Black woman was promised a life of fortune, taken to Europe as a slave to be exhibited naked to men and women around Europe just because of her physique, the physique of a Black woman. Her life was that of humiliation, prostitution, and slavery of another name. Her story is a very hard one to hear when you are a Black woman, when you love Black women, or when you love women in general. She was displayed as a freak because of her unusual physical features, studied, dissected after death and will only finally be put to rest years after her death. Sawtche , from her real name, was born in in the Eastern Cape , of modern-day South Africa.
Saartjie Baartman: The Hottentot Venus Who Aroused The Victorians
Hottentot Venus | saintantoine.info
From there she was moved to Bartholomew Fair and Haymarket. There were private viewings, too. The walls of the Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly are placarded from top to bottom with bills announcing the exhibition of some frightful object within and the building itself will soon be known as the Hall of Ugliness. We cannot understand the cause of the now prevailing taste for deformity, which seems to grow by what it feeds upon. The first dose administered to this morbid appetite was somewhat homoeopathic, being comprised in the diminutive form of TOM THUMB; but the eagerness with which this little humbug was devoured — at least by female kisses — has caused the importation, on a much larger scale, of all sorts of lusus naturae and specimens of animated ugliness, which form a source of attraction to the public, and are exhibited with success in the very building where HAYDON in vain invited attention to the creations of his genius.
T he first time Saartjie Baartman was dragged out to squat before the mob at Piccadilly, the show's promoters billed her genitals as resembling the skin that hangs from a turkey's throat. For several years, working-class Londoners crowded in to shout vulgarities at the protruding buttocks and large vulva of the unfortunate woman made famous across Europe as the "Hottentot Venus". The aristocracy were no less fascinated at what they saw as a sexual freak, but they had private showings.
The woman who is most linked with the icon, Saartjie Baartman, was the first to take the role. Baartman, who was also called Sarah or Sara, was a native of South Africa. She died in Paris, France, in Baartman was born during the period of Dutch colonization in South Africa. Such views dehumanized the Khoi Khoi and San, who were targeted for extermination and removal.