Search

Sarah Baartman

Baartman's life was one of huge hardship. It is thought she was born in South Africa's Eastern Cape in 1789, her mother died when she was two and her father, a cattle driver, died when she was an adolescent. She entered domestic service in Cape Town after a Dutch colonist murdered her partner, with whom she had had a baby who died. In October 1810, although illiterate, Baartman allegedly signed a contract with English ship surgeon William Dunlop and mixed-race entrepreneur Hendrik Cesars, in whose household she worked, saying she would travel to England to take part in shows. The reason was that Baartman, also known as Sara or Saartjie, had what was called "steatopygia", resulting in extremely protuberant buttocks due to a build-up of fat. These made her a cause of fascination when she was exhibited at a venue in London's Piccadilly Circus after her arrival. "You have to remember that, at the time, it was highly fashionable and desirable for women to have large bottoms, so lots of people envied what she had naturally, without having to accentuate her figure," says Rachel Holmes, author of The Hottentot Venus: The Life and Death of Saartjie Baartman. On stage she wore skin-tight, flesh-coloured clothing, as well as beads and feathers, and smoked a pipe. Wealthy customers could pay for private demonstrations in their homes, with their guests allowed to touch her. Her arrival in England coincided with speculation over whether Lord Grenville and his coalition of Whigs - known as the "broad bottoms" because of Grenville's own large behind - would try to seize government. This was a gift for cartoonists. One creation, entitled A Pair of Broad Bottoms, shows Grenville and Baartman standing back-to-back, with another figure measuring their respective posterior sizes.Baartman died aged 26. The cause was described as "inflammatory and eruptive disease". It's since been suggested this was a result of pneumonia, syphilis or alcoholism." - BBC

1 view0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

So basically yeah, I’ve been hearing and seeing stuff about self discovery. From radios...there was this presenter(I can’t really remember his name) but it was a mid night show, on Max FM, he is into

There is a certain terror that goes along with saying “My life is up to me.” It is scary to realize there’s no magic, you can’t just wait around, no one can really rescue you, and you have to do some

Good to know, the guys who stay behind bars serving you drinks that make you happy and take your mind of you problems are far more technical than they seem, bartending is a study on its ownand no the