Analysis Of Krao And Sarah Baartman

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In todays society it may no longer be acceptable to openly call an individual a freak, but back in the 1800s such differences caused people to be exploited their entire life. For Krao and Sarah Baartman this exploitation began by being whisked away from their families and country of origin and taken to London as young girls. Both had to endure a lifetime of being publically displayed so that other individuals could calm their own insecurities and scientific inquiries. A lot was changing in the world during this time and the world was constantly being explored and expanding. Krao and Sarah Baartman serve as key figures during a time of significant change and served not only as a tool for viewing and understanding the world, but also as a way…show more content…
In order to prove this elitness, individuals needed to prove that lesser races sought to be more like them. The domestication and modernizing of Krao show that other races can conform. If European expansion did continue, people found comfort knowing they could potentially educate and transform others to be like them. Krao fit right into society and in fact many people may have walked by her on the streets not even noticing her excessive hair. Nadja Durbach notes, “but Krao also served as a human trophy of imperial expansion, a synecdoche of Indochina, …” (144). Krao’s identity linked her in the European mind to savagery and the unknown. As Durbach identifies her presence in society served as a trophy to the changes going on in the world. Although many changes and advancements were made, the one constant was this idea of…show more content…
At the time slavery and racial inferiority are at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Sarah served to visually prove and represent the differences among races. Racial science served to justify the action of exploiting African Amercian’s for work. In Sarah’s case she was placed on a pedestal not to be praised but to be gawked at belittled. She was required to wear very minimal clothing in order to allow individuals to see her full body and compare sizes. By measuring the brain, whites were able to explain why they were the so-called pure race' class='brand-secondary'>race. Head sizes were not the only thing looked at. While Sarah refused, even to the point of violence, to show her genital area and be poked at, after her death her body was mutilated. Her genitalia and menstrual blood was investigated to even further prove racial otherness. Her lashing out was seen not as modesty but instead savagery. One person writes, “this imagery formed a lasting legacy of visual representations that undermined struggles of African descendants” (“Venus and the Hottentot” 53). Even though this racial oppression has been greatly reduced, its effects can still be seen today. Racially, Sarah was exploited as an example of how one race ranked above

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