Sara Baartman died at the age of 26 in 1816. Her death has yet to be determined. Nobody knows whether she died of alcoholic liver disease, smallpox, or pneumonia. Cuvier, a French scientist, recovered her body from local cops and dismembered it. He cast her body in plaster, arranged her mind and genitals, and put them in jars that were on display at the Musée de l'Homme (Museum of Man) until 1974.
Sara Baartman's story was resurrected in 1981 when palaeontologist Stephen Jay Gould wrote about her ordeal in his e-book The Mismeasure of Man, in which he spoke out against racist science.
Sara Baartman's large buttocks and odd coloring piqued the interest of colonial Europeans who assumed they were racially advanced. After four years in London, where she was forced to reveal her nakedness on the streets, she was transported to France in September 1814, and upon arrival, Hendrik Cezar sold her to Reaux, a man who displayed animals. He paraded her around Paris, profiting handsomely from the public's obsession with Sara's body.
She was shown in a cage with a baby rhinoceros by Reaux. Her "trainer" might tell her to sit or stand in the same way that circus animals are told to do.
Baartman was often seen almost completely nude, wearing nothing but a tan loincloth, and she was only allowed to do so due to her insistence that she cover what became private. She earned the nickname "Hottentot Venus."
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