Saartjie Baartman’s Story (Part 2/2)
|Saartjie “Sarah” Baartman(before 1790 – 29 December 1815) (also spelled Bartman, Bartmann, Baartmen) was the most famous of at least two Khoikhoi women who were exhibited as freak showattractions in 19th-century Europe under the nameHottentot Venus—”Hottentot” as the then-current name for the Khoi people, now considered an offensive term, and “Venus” in reference to the Roman goddess of love.|
Sarah Baartman was born to a Khoisan family in the vicinity of the Gamtoos River in what is now the Eastern Cape of South Africa. She was orphaned in a commando raid. Saartjie, pronounced “Sahr-kee”, is the diminutiveform of her name; in Afrikaans the use of the diminutive form commonly indicates familiarity, endearment or contempt. Her birth name is unknown.
Baartman was a slave of a Dutch farmer named Peter Cezar nearCape Town, which had recently come under British control. Alexander Dunlop, a military surgeon with a sideline in supplying showmen in Britain with animal specimens, suggested she travel…
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