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Tasty tidbits from the past. Mostly images, but hopefully all food for thought. A definite 19th century focus, but I try to keep an open mind.

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Sarah “Saartjie” Baartman, one of at least two Khoikhoi women called “The Hottentot Venus.”  She was taken to Europe as a Scientific Curiosity: “Baartman had unusually large buttocks and genitals, and in the early  1800s Europeans were arrogantly obsessed with their own superiority, and  with proving that others, particularly blacks, were inferior and  oversexed.”(southafrica.info)
She was a slave. She was brought to Britain in 1810 and exhibited to the public; she was allowed to cover her genitals, but her clothes were skin-tight.  Her the question of her freedom or slavery caused a scandal, as slavery on English soil was abolished in 1807.  Official inquires into the subject were inconclusive
She was later sold to a Frenchman and exhibited in Paris, where, among other indignities, she was displayed by an animal trainer and later had to turn to prostitution.  She died in 1815. 
French naturalist Georges Cuvier, who had examined her while she was still alive, furthered his scientific efforts after her death.  He “made a plaster cast of her body, then removed her skeleton and,  after removing her brain and genitals, pickled them and displayed them  in bottles at the Musee de l’Homme in Paris.”(southafrica.info)  They remained on display until 1974. 
In 2002 her remains were finally returned to South Africa.  

Sarah “Saartjie” Baartman, one of at least two Khoikhoi women called “The Hottentot Venus.”  She was taken to Europe as a Scientific Curiosity: “Baartman had unusually large buttocks and genitals, and in the early 1800s Europeans were arrogantly obsessed with their own superiority, and with proving that others, particularly blacks, were inferior and oversexed.”(southafrica.info)

She was a slave. She was brought to Britain in 1810 and exhibited to the public; she was allowed to cover her genitals, but her clothes were skin-tight.  Her the question of her freedom or slavery caused a scandal, as slavery on English soil was abolished in 1807.  Official inquires into the subject were inconclusive

She was later sold to a Frenchman and exhibited in Paris, where, among other indignities, she was displayed by an animal trainer and later had to turn to prostitution.  She died in 1815. 

French naturalist Georges Cuvier, who had examined her while she was still alive, furthered his scientific efforts after her death.  He “made a plaster cast of her body, then removed her skeleton and, after removing her brain and genitals, pickled them and displayed them in bottles at the Musee de l’Homme in Paris.”(southafrica.info)  They remained on display until 1974. 

In 2002 her remains were finally returned to South Africa.