The resulting scientific papers describe extensive negotiations before a modest Saartjie would take off her clothes. Disappointingly Holmes does not include enough quotes from the source material to allow us to separate her ideas about Saartjie’s experiences from what Saartjie herself expressed about them and what her contemporaries observed. What if she went willingly? A month after Saartjie’s show opened, the abolitionists, convinced she was brought to England and forced to perform against her will, began a High Court lawsuit on her behalf that electrified the English public and press. This stated that she was his domestic servant and would allow herself to be exhibited in public in return for 12 guineas a year.

She often appeared sullen during her daily six hours of performance and Hendriks, on one occasion, seems to have threatened her in public with a bamboo stick. Cuvier, the father of both comparative anatomy and palaeontology, conducted the post-mortem examination. Holmes writes, ‘Cuvier had finally got what he wanted: Such studies assess how the traditional iconography of the black female body was institutionally and scientifically defined in the 19th century. The case was therefore dismissed. Journal of Women in Culture and Society Enveloping her from neck to feet, it was an African version of the corn-gold tresses of Botticelli’s Venus – and every inch of its luxuriant, curled hair was equally suggestive.

Little of this knowledge can be considered completely factual as most knowledge of Baartman is not extrapolated from diverse sources of documentation. The University of Chicago Press.

Saartjie was to be the exhibit. Pather added that there there is no shortage of art and artists, with some of the most prized artists coming from within the Michaelis School.

The Hottentot Venus – Sarah Baartman

Thomas, anyone that is aware of black women’s history under colonialist influence would consequentially be aware that Kardashian’s photo easily elicits memory regarding the visual representation of Baartman. Scholars argue that year-old remains should be classified as ordinary artifacts, and tools for research, and that there is no baartmn to attach emotions to them. In this image Saartjie stands in the antique pose of the Cnidian Venus, so beloved of Renaissance sculptors; a figure that would reappear later in the 19th century in the Orientalist grandes odalisques of Ingres and Renoir.


While the authors do argue this point throughout the book, they make it clear that their main objective was to recover and rewrite the history of the woman Sara Baartman, rather than to tell their audience about the performer Hottentot Venus. Journal of British Studies. It did not even occur to them that Sara was forced to act as an exhibit. For baaftman than a century and a half, visitors to the Museum of Man in Paris could view her brain, skeleton and genitalia as well as a plaster cast of her body.

Sarah Baartman – Words | Essay Example

In France she was in effect enslaved. Genetic traits And as for “Venus,” there was also an unmistakable prurience involved in showing Baartman off to European audiences.

sarah baartman essay

Retrieved March 22, We have a large number of writers specialized in. Green recreates the basic setting sarag Baartman’s exhibition. Her corpse was sold to the Museum of Natural History and intimately examined and dissected by scientists who believed that her physiognomy would provide clues to the origin of mankind.

This is one of the details that attract the attention of the viewer.

James, the most expensive part of London. The show went on, moving from London to tour Britain and Ireland.

sarah baartman essay

Read time 7 min. It also means uncivilized, uncouth, barbarous, savage. Neelika Jayawardane, a literature professor and editor of the website Africa is a Country, [46] published a response to Oliveira’s article. Yet, Sara did not enjoy the same rights because she differed from them in terms sarh her origin.

Sarah Baartman Essay

Saartjie’s death in Paris coincided with the repatriation to Italy of the famous Roman statue known as the Medici Venus. Dressed in a skin-light, skin-coloured silk body stocking with a tiny tasselled and beaded apron over her pubic mound, Saartjie danced and sang and played her guitar while her public pressed around to pinch and prod her famous bottom. The French people and politicians supported her repatriation, but museologists raised ridiculous objections that she was still a viable object of “scientific” study and French patrimony.


Lucy Moore reviews The Hottentot Venus: Finally, they discuss in detail how Europe would overdetermine the anatomy and assumed persona of the black female body to such a degree that it ultimately became a representation of itself.

Dignifying Sarah Baartman

Retrieved from ” https: Dunlop and Cesars together took Saartjie illegally out of the country, along with a giraffe skin. A xarah after Saartjie’s show opened, the abolitionists, convinced she was brought to England and forced to perform against her will, began a High Court lawsuit on her behalf that electrified the English public and press.

Days before the shoot, Goude often worked with his models to find the best “hyperbolized” position to take his photos. In Rowlandson’s cartoon, amply proportioned white Englishwomen are depicted trying to plump up their already big bottoms in imitation of Saartjie, who loftily presides over them all.

Cultural and religious conversion was considered to be an altruistic act with imperialist undertones; colonizers believed that they were reforming and correcting Khoisan culture in the name of the Christian faith and empire. Saartjie, a South African showgirl in the early 19th century, was a small, beautiful woman, with an sarab bottom.