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Adults Only (+21) Saartjie Baartman..Legendary African Icon..للكبار فقط (+21) سارة بارتمان..الأيقونة الإفريقية التاريخية

 Sarah Baartman (also spelled Sara, sometimes in the diminutive form Saartje, and Bartman, Bartmann, or Baartmen, [sɑːrɐ bɑːrtman, sɑːrki]) (before 1790 – 29 December 1815), was the most well known of at least two Khoikhoi women who, due to their large buttocks, were exhibited as freak show attractions in 19th-century Europe under the name Hottentot Venus—"Hottentot" was the then current name for the Khoi people, now considered an offensive term, and "Venus" referred to the Roman goddess of love.

سارتجي بارتمان (Saartjie Baartman)، المعروفة أيضا بـ سارة بارتمان (1789 - 29 ديسمبر، 1815).

ولدت سارتجي بارتمان لأحد القبائل الأفريقية المعروفة ب (خوي خوي) والتي يعتقد أنها كانت أول القبائل التي سكنت جنوب أفريقيا في شرق الكيب في جنوب إفريقيا على ضفاف نهر جامتوس.

Sarah Baartman, called "Saartjie" (the diminutive form), was likely born in 1789 in the Gamtoos valley in the eastern part of the Cape Colony. In 1810, she went to England with her employer, a free black man (a Cape designation for someone of slave descent) called Hendrik Cesars, and William Dunlop, an English doctor who worked at the Cape slave lodge. They sought to show her for money on the London stage. Sara Baartman spent four years on stage in England and Ireland. Early on, her treatment on the Piccadilly stage caught the attention of British abolitionists, who argued that her performance was indecent and that she was being forced to perform against her will. Ultimately, the court ruled in favour of her exhibition after Dunlop produced a contract made between himself and Baartman. It is doubtful that this contract was valid: it was probably produced for the purposes of the trial. Cesars left the show and Dunlop continued to display Baartman in country fairs. Baartman also moved to Manchester where she was baptized as Sarah Bartmann. In 1814, after Dunlop's death, a man called Henry Taylor brought Baartman to Paris. He sold her to an animal trainer, S. Reaux, who made her amuse onlookers who frequented the Palais-Royal. Georges Cuvier, founder and professor of comparative anatomy at the Museum of Natural History examined Baartman as he searched for proof of a so-called missing link between animals and human beings. Baartman's body became the foundation for racist science. Baartman lived in poverty, and died in Paris of an undetermined inflammatory disease in December 1815. After her death, Cuvier dissected her body, and displayed her remains. For more 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. Her remains were returned to South Africa in 2002 and she was buried in the Eastern Cape on South Africa's National Women's Day.


يكتب اسمها بالإنجليزية هكذا Saartjie وينطق Sahr-chee ، وترجمته الحرفية تعني "سارة الصغيرة" وهو ما يستخدمه الأفارقة كنوع من التحبب للشخص ودلالة على القرب له وليس تعبيرا عن صغر القامة.

Early life in South Africa

Sara Baartman was born to a Khoisan family in the vicinity of the Gamtoos River in what is now the Eastern Cape of South Africa, on land taken over by Dutch farmers. Her father was killed by Bushmen while driving cattle. Saartjie is the diminutive form of Sara; in Cape Dutch the use of the diminutive form commonly indicated familiarity, endearment or contempt. Her birth name is unknown.

عملت سارة بارتمان كخادمة لفلاحين هولانديين وهي في العشرين من عمرها، وأثناء عملها لفتت نظر جراح بريطاني جاء زائرا ويدعى دنلوب William Dunlop . ما لفت نظره فيها هو حجم مؤخرتها الكبير جدا والذي تشتهر به نساء قبيلة الخوي خوي وهو ما يسمى بـ steatopygia . وافقت سارة على السفر مع دانلوب إلى بريطانيا بعد أن وعدها بالشهرة والثراء على أن تذهب كموضوع لعلم البحث والتشريح بسبب شكل جسمها الغريب.

Baartman spent her childhood and teenage years on settler farms. She went through puberty rites, and kept the small tortoise shell necklace, probably given to her by her mother, until her death in France. In the 1790s, a free black (the Cape designation for individuals of enslaved descent) trader named Peter Cesars met her and encouraged her to move to Cape Town, which had recently come under British control. Records do not show whether she was made to leave, or went willingly, or was sent by her family to Cesars. She lived in Cape Town for at least two years working in households as a washerwoman and a nursemaid, first for Peter Cesars, then in the house of a Dutch man in Cape Town. She moved finally to be a wet-nurse in the household of Peter Cesars' brother-in-law, Hendrik Cesars, outside of Cape Town in present day Woodstock. Sara Baartman lived alongside slaves in the Cesars' household. As someone of Khoisan descent she could not be formally enslaved, but probably lived in conditions similar to slaves in Cape Town. There is evidence that she had two children, though both died as babies. She had a relationship with a poor European military man, Hendrik Van Jong, who lived in Hout Bay near Cape Town, but the relationship ended when his regiment left the Cape. William Dunlop, a Scottish military surgeon in the Cape slave lodge, with a sideline in supplying showmen in Britain with animal specimens, suggested she travel to England to make money by exhibition. Baartman refused. Dunlop persisted and Sara Baartman said she would only go if Hendrik Cesars came too. He also refused, but became ever more in debt in part because of unfavorable lending terms because of his status as free black. Finally, in 1810 he agreed to go to England to make money through putting Sara Baartman on stage. The party left for London in 1810. It is unknown if Sara Baartman went willingly or was forced, but she was in no position to refuse even if she chose to do so.

رواية أخرى "مزعومة" تقول أنه: عندما اقترح Hendrick Cezar ، أخو أرباب العمل الذين تعمل عندهم بارتمان، أن تسافر إلى إنجلترا لتعمل في السيرك، ووعدها بالثراء والشهرة. سمح لها اللورد كاليدون Caledon ، وهو محافظ المنطقة، بالسفر في رحلتها هذه، لكنه ندم على ذلك فيما بعد بعد أن عرف الغرض الرئيسي من الرحلة.

Dunlop was the frontman and conspirator behind the plan to exhibit Sara Baartman: According to an English law report of 26 November 1810, an affidavit supplied to the Court of King's Bench from a "Mr. Bullock of Liverpool Museum" stated: "some months since a Mr. Alexander Dunlop, who, he believed, was a surgeon in the army, came to him sell the skin of a Camelopard, which he had brought from the Cape of Good Hope...Some time after, Mr. Dunlop again called on Mr. Bullock, and told him, that he had then on her way from the Cape, a female Hottentot, of very singular appearance; that she would make the fortune of any person who shewed her in London, and that he (Dunlop) was under an engagement to send her back in two years..." Lord Caledon, governor of the Cape, gave permission for the trip, but later said regretted it after he fully learned the purpose of the trip.


ذهبت سارة إلى لندن وهي في الواحد والعشرين من عمرها سنة 1810. خضعت في بداية الأمر لعدد من الدراسات لتشريح جسمها الغريب. كانت سارة تعرض في سيرك (بيكاديللي) تحت إشراف مدرب "الحيوانات" المفترسة. كان يسمح للمشاهدين بلمس مؤخرتها الكبيرة مقابل زيادة في سعر التذكرة. والهوتينتوت هو اللفظ الذي كان يستخدمه الهولنديين للدلالة على قبيلة الخوسيان الأفريقية بسبب لغتهم الغريبة والتي تحتوي على كثيرا من "الطقطقة" باللسان أثناء الكلمات. في رواية أن هذه اللفظة معناها "المتلعثمون". لم تسمح سارة بارتمان لهذه الخاصية الأخيرة بالظهور طوال فترة حياتها.

On show in Great Britain

Hendrik Cesars and Alexander Dunlop brought Baartman to London in 1810. The group lived together in Duke Street, St. James the most expensive part of London. In the household were Sara Baartman, Hendrik Cesars, Alexander Dunlop, and two African boys, probably brought illegally by Dunlop from the slave lodge in Cape Town.

أجبرت سارة على العمل في السيرك وكان يتم عرضها وهي عارية تماما، وكانت تجبر على القيام بعروض تظهر فيها كحيوان مفترس حيث أنها تؤمر الجلوس والوقوف، وكانت تحبس في قفص للحيوانات المفترسة وتجبر على الرقص لسجانيها. كان المفترض أن بارتمان تجني نصف الدخل الوارد من العروض التي تقدمها، لكن الحقيقة أنها لم تر منه إلا القليل.

Dunlop schemed to have Sara exhibited and Cesars was the showman. Dunlop exhibited Baartman in the Egyptian Hall of Piccadilly Circus on November 24, 1810. Dunlop thought he could make money because of Londoners' lack of familiarity with Africans and because of Baartman's large bottom. Crais and Scully say: "People came to see her because they saw her not as a person but as a pure example of this one part of the natural world". A handwritten note made on an exhibition flyer by someone who saw Baartman in London in January 1811 indicates curiosity about her origins and probably reproduced some of the language from the exhibition, thus the origin story should be treated with skepticism: "Sartjee is 22 Years old is 4 feet 10 Ins high, and has (for an Hottentot) a good capacity. She lived in the occupation of a Cook at the Cape of Good Hope. Her Country is situated not less than 600 Miles from the Cape the Inhabitants of which are rich in Cattle and sell them by barter for a mere trifle, A Bottle of Brandy, or small roll of Tobacco will purchase several Sheep – Their principal trade is in Cattle Skins or Tallow. – Beyond this Nation is an other, of small stature, very subtle & fierce; the Dutch could not bring them under subjection, and shot them whenever they found them. 9th Jany. 1811. " The tradition of freak shows was longstanding in Britain at this time, and historians have argued that this is at first how Baartman was displayed. Baartman never allowed herself to be exhibited nude and an account of her appearance in London in 1810 makes it clear that she was wearing a garment, albeit a tight-fitting one.

أثارت الأنباء المتناقلة عن المعاملة التي تلقتها سارة بعض الأصوات الحية مما أدى إلى تكوين "الرابطة الأفريقية" (بالإنجليزية: African Association) للمطالبة بإطلاق سراح سارة. في هولندا، تمت مساءلة سارة بارتمان أمام القضاء وقد أوضحت بأن ما تقوم به هو بكامل إرادتها وأنها ليست تحت أي ضغوط وأنها تتقاضى نصيبها من الدخل. تبقى الظروف التي أدلت تحتها سارة بهذا التصريح مجهولة، لأن ما قالت في المحكمة مناقض تماما للوثيقة القانونية التي كتبها زكاري ماكاولي Zachary Macaulay من الهيئة الأفريقية وشهود عيان آخرون (Strother 1999).

Her exhibition in London just a few years after the passing of the Slave Trade Act 1807 created a scandal. This is in part because British audiences misread Hendrik Cesars, thinking he was a Dutch farmer, boer, from the frontier. Scholars have tended to reproduce that error, but tax rolls at the Cape show he was free black. Violence was part of the show. An abolitionist benevolent society called the African Association conducted a newspaper campaign for her release. Zachary Macaulay led the protest. Hendrik Cesars protested that Baartman was entitled to earn her living, stating: "has she not as good a right to exhibit herself as an Irish Giant or a Dwarf?" Cesars was comparing Baartman to the contemporary Irish giants Charles Byrne and Patrick Cotter O'Brien. Macaulay and The African Association took the matter to court and on November 24, 1810 at the Court of King's Bench the Attorney-General began the attempt "to give her liberty to say whether she was exhibited by her own consent." In support he produced two affidavits in court. The first, from a Mr Bullock of Liverpool Museum, was intended to show Baartman had been brought to Britain by persons who referred to her as if she were property. The second, by the Secretary of the African Association, described the degrading conditions under which she was exhibited and also gave evidence of coercion. Baartman was then questioned before an attorney in Dutch, in which she was fluent, via interpreters. However the conditions of the interview were stacked against her, in part again because the court saw Hendrik Cesars as the boer exploiter, rather than seeing Alexander Dunlop as the organizer. They thus ensured that Cesars was not in the room when Baartman made her statement, but Dunlop was allowed to remain.

يبدو أن أول الأشخاص الذين ثاروا لقضيتها ثائر من جاميكا يدعى روبرت ويدربيرن. تاريخ ويدربيرن في الكفاح طويل، حيث تم اعتقاله عدة مرات لأنه طالب بحق العبيد في أن يثوروا ويقتلوا سيدهم الأبيض بلا محاكمة. هكذا وجد البريطانيون أنهم مضطرون لمنع ظهور سارة في السيرك بعد الضوضاء التي أثارها ويدربيرن. لكن المحكمة البريطانية احتجت بأن سارة مرتبطة بعقد مع دنلوب.

Historians have stated that this therefore casts great doubt on the veracity and independence of the statement that Baartman then made. She stated that she in fact was not under restraint, did not get sexually abused, and that she came to London on her own free will. She also did not wish to return to her family and understood perfectly that she was guaranteed half of the profits. The case was therefore dismissed. She was questioned for three hours. The statements directly contradict accounts of her exhibitions made by Zachary Macaulay of the African Institution and other eyewitnesses. A written contract was produced, which is considered by some modern commentators to be a legal subterfuge.

The publicity given by the court case increased Baartman's popularity as an exhibit. She later toured other parts of England and was exhibited at a fair in Limerick, Ireland in 1812. She also was exhibited at a fair at Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk. On 1 December 1811 Baartman was baptized at Manchester Cathedral and there is evidence that she was married on the same day.

إلى باريس

بعد أربع سنوات من قدومها إلى لندن، تم نقل سارة إلى باريس أيضا لتعمل في السيرك تحت إمرة مدرب للحيوانات المفترسة حيث بقيت هناك خمسة عشر شهرا. درس كثير من العلماء التشريحيين هناك جسدها باعتباره "ظاهرة" وعلى رأسهم Baron Cuvier البارون جورج كوفييه، وهو الجراح الخاص بنابليون بونابارت. على أساس ذلك تم نشر عدد من الدراسات التشريحية المزورة ومفادها أن أجسام الأفارقة متشابه مع القردة وأن الجنس الأوروبي هو الجنس السامي.

Later life in France

A man called Henry Taylor took Sara Baartman to France, from around September 1814. Taylor then sold her to an animal trainer, S. Réaux, who exhibited her under more pressured conditions for fifteen months at the Palais Royal. In France she was in effect enslaved. In Paris, her exhibition became more clearly entangled with scientific racism. French scientists were curious about whether she had the elongated labia which earlier naturalists such as François Levaillant had purportedly observed in Khoisan at the Cape. French naturalists, among them Georges Cuvier, head keeper of the menagerie at the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle,and founder of the discipline of comparative anatomy visited her. She was the subject of several scientific paintings at the Jardin du Roi, where she was examined in March 1815: as Saint-Hilaire and Frédéric Cuvier, a younger brother of Georges, reported, "she was obliging enough to undress and to allow herself to be painted in the nude." This was not literally true: although by his standards she appeared to be naked, in accordance with her own cultural norms of modesty throughout these sessions she wore a small apron-like garment which concealed her genitalia. She steadfastly refused to remove this even when offered money by one of the attending scientists. In Paris, Baartman's promoters didn't need to concern themselves with slavery charges. Crais and Scully state: "By the time she got to Paris, her existence was really quite miserable and extraordinarily poor. Sara was literally treated like an animal. There is some evidence to suggest that at one point a collar was placed around her neck."

يبدو أن التشريح الجسمي الغريب لسارة ألهم بعض "المبدعين" الفرنسيين، فتم تأليف مسرحية هزلية في الأوبرا الفرنسية الهزلية. تدعى هذه المسرحية فينوس الهوتنتوت أو "المكروهة للنساء الفرنسيات" Hottentot Venus or Hatred to French Women ، وهي عبارة عن خليط من الفلسفات العرقية والفنتازيا الجنسية التي شغلت المجتمع الأوروبي لفترة وقتها. يبدو أيضا أن سارة استغلت في ما هو أسوء بعد ذلك إذ أنها اشتغلت في الدعارة، كما يروى أنها أفرطت في الشراب علها تهرب من الذل والمهانة التي تتعرض لهما يوميا.

Death and legacy

Baartman died on 29 December 1815 at age 26, of an undetermined inflammatory ailment, possibly smallpox, while other sources suggest she contracted syphilis, or pneumonia. Cuvier conducted a dissection, but did not do an autopsy to inquire into the reasons for Baartman's death.


حزينة ووحيدة، توفيت سارة عام 1816 من غير أن تذرف عليها دمعة واحدة بسبب مرض ما. حقيقة هذا المرض غير معروفة لكن يبدو أنه التهاب الرئة أو الزهري. لم تنته رحلة عذابها بموتها، فحتى بعد موتها تعرضت جثتها للاهانة حيث أنه خلال أقل من أربعة وعشرين ساعة بعد وفاتها تم تشريح جثتها بواسطة العالم كوفييه حيث انتزع منها المخ وبعض الأجزاء الحساسة، واحتفظ بها في الفورمالين، ثم احتفظ بهيكلها العظمي ليصنع منه قالبا للجسد. تم عرض رفات سارة في متحف في باريس يدعى Musee de l'Homme (Museum of Mankind) أي متحف الإنسان. هناك أيضا تابع كوفييه دراسته في التشريح المقارن محاولا أن يثبت أنها أقرب إلى القرد، بالذات إنسان الغاب أورانج أوتان orangutan. في عام 1974 تم ازالة هذه الرفات من المتحف في باريس ووضعت في المخزن ونسي أمرها تماما.

French anatomist Henri Marie Ducrotay de Blainville published notes on the dissection in 1816, which were republished by Georges Cuvier in the Memoires du Museum d'Histoire Naturelle in 1817. Cuvier, who had met Baartman, notes in his monograph that its subject was an intelligent woman with an excellent memory, particularly for faces. In addition to her native tongue, she spoke fluent Dutch, passable English, and a smattering of French. He describes her shoulders and back as "graceful", arms "slender", hands and feet as "charming" and "pretty". He adds she was adept at playing the jew's harp, could dance according to the traditions of her country, and had a lively personality. Despite this, Cuvier interpreted her remains, in accordance with his theories on racial evolution, as evidencing ape-like traits. He thought her small ears were similar to those of an orangutan and also compared her vivacity, when alive, to the quickness of a monkey.

لكن يبدو أن المجتمع الأفريقي لم ينس أبدا. ظهرت في ذلك الوقت محاولات متفرقة لاستعادة رفات سارة برتمان، لكن أول محادثات جادة كانت في عام 1994، عندما تولى نيلسون مانديلا الحكم حيث أجرى محادثات مع الحكومة الفرنسية مطالبا باستعادة جسد سارة. أخذت المحادثات فترة طويلة جدا حتى كان عام 2002، السادس من مارس، حيث تم أخيرا السماح لجسد سارة بالعودة إلى أرض الوطن. قال وزير الأبحاث الفرنسي Roger-Gerard Schwartzenberg : "فرنسا تريد أن تعيد الكرامة لسارجيتي بارتمان، لأنها أذلت كإمراة واضطهدت كأفريقية". وقال السفير Thuthukile Skweyiya : "ستبدأ سارة بارتمان رحلتها الأخيرة عائدة للوطن، عائدة إلى جنوب أفريقيا الحر، الديموقراطي، حيث لا توجد هناك تفرقة بين الجنسين أو بين الشعوب. إنها رمز لحاجتنا القومية لنواجه ماضينا ونعيد الكرامة لكل مواطنينا".

From the 1940s, there were sporadic calls for the return of her remains. A poem written in 1978 by Diana Ferrus, herself of Khoisan descent, entitled "I've come to take you home", played a pivotal role in spurring the movement to bring Baartman's remains back to her birth soil. The case gained world-wide prominence only after Stephen Jay Gould wrote The Mismeasure of Man in the 1980s. Mansell Upham, a researcher and jurist specializing in South African colonial history also helped spur the movement to bring Baartman's remains back to South Africa. After the victory of the African National Congress in the South African general election, 1994, President Nelson Mandela formally requested that France return the remains. After much legal wrangling and debates in the French National Assembly, France acceded to the request on 6 March 2002. Her remains were repatriated to her homeland, the Gamtoos Valley, on 6 May 2002 and they were buried on 9 August 2002 on Vergaderingskop, a hill in the town of Hankey over 200 years after her birth.

بعد حوالي 200 عام من الغربة والمهانة تم نقل رفات سارة إلى مطار كاب، حيث عادة إلى قريتها غامووت، مكان ميلادها، حيث تم دفن رفاتها مغطاة بعلم جنوب أفريقيا. كان حفل تأبينها في التاسع من أغسطس 2002، في يوم المرأة العالمي.

Baartman became an icon in South Africa as representative of many aspects of the nation's history. The Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children, a refuge for survivors of domestic violence, opened in Cape Town in 1999. South Africa's first offshore environmental protection vessel, the Sarah Baartman, is also named after her.


Sarah Baartman was not the only Khoekhoe to be taken from her homeland. Her story is always used as a symbol to illustrate various social and political strains, and through these applications, her true story has been lost among the discussions. Dr. Yvette Abraham, professor of women and gender studies at the University of the Western Cape says, "we lack academic studies that view Sarah Baartman as anything other than a symbol. Her story becomes marginalized, as it is always used to illustrate some other topic…." For some reason, Baartman is always employed to represent African discrimination and suffering in the West, even though there were many other Khoekhoe people who were taken to Europe. For example, Historian Neil Parsons writes about two Khoekhoe children of 13 and 6 who were taken from South Africa and displayed at a holiday fair in Elberfeld, Germany, 1845. Secondly, a traveling show called the Bosjemans traveled around Britain, Ireland, and France, consisting of two men, women, and one baby. The circus was in business from 1846 to 1855. Thirdly, P.T. Barnum's show, called "Little People", advertised a 16 year old girl by the name of Flora as the "missing link" and acquired six more Khoekhoe children after her. These are just some of the cases of Khoekhoe Africans who were enslaved and put on display in the West. There may be some reason Baartman's tale is so famous. She was the first Khoekhoe to be taken from her homeland. However, instead of being the first, it is most likely that her fame is due to the extensive exploitation of her body by the general public and scientists such as Georges Cuvier, as well as the horrible mistreatment she received during her life and after her death. She was brought to the West solely on the premise of her exaggerated female form, and the European public found a sickening obsession with her reproductive organs. Her body parts were on display at the Musee de l’Homme for 150 years, and her story as a symbol may be due to the awareness and sympathy it has evoked in the public eye. Even though Baartman was the first Khoekhoe to land in Europe, much of her story has been lost, and she is instead defined by her tragic utilization and exploitation in the West.

كتبت الشاعرة الأوروبية ديانا فيرراس Diana Ferrus، وهي أصلاً من جنوب أفريقيا من قبيلة الخويسان شعراً بعنوان "قصيدة سارتيجي بارتمان"، وكانت هذه القصيدة سبباً في رجوع سارة، وكانت ديانا صاحبة الدعوة لعودة سارة، وأحد الثلاثة الذين اصطحبوا سارة للعودة لمقرها الأخير.

وبعد وفتها اعطي جسدها الى عالم فرنسي (جورج كوفييه)الذي اعطى وصفا مطولا لجسدها وصفاته الفسيولوجية. وركز على الاعضاء التناسلية والارداف ..ونشر الكثير عنها وصفاتها الى الحد الذين جعلت الناس يعتقدون ان الجنس الاسود نوع مختلف وهو اقرب الى القرود منه الى البشر ..اتنزع دماغها واعضاءها التناسلية وحنط باقي جسمها وعرضت في متاحف باريس حتى العام 1986

تحولت الى قضية راي عام ثم الى قضية سياسية واصبحت رمزا وطنيا للافارقة والسود ...بذلت العديد من المحاولات لاسترجاع رفاتها لكن دون جدوى ..

واخيرا قامت الاديبة الاوربية الافريقية الاصل والعائدة الى نفس قبيلة الخوي التي تنتمي لها سارة بارتمان واسمها (ديانا فيرريس ) بكتابة قصيدة اسمها- تحية الى (ستارتجي هارتمان )- شغلت الاوساط الباريسية وخصوصا عضو الشيوخ الفرنسي (نيكولا اوباوت ) الذي استيقظ ضميره بقوة عند سمعه القصيدة بعد طول سبات وربما ااستيقظ الضمير الغربي بعد قرنين من عمر الزمان ...

قصيدة تحية الى سارتجي بارتمان لـ ديانا فيررس والتي ايقظت الضمير الغربي بعد 200 عام 

لقد جئت لأخذك الى الوطن
الوطن ، هل تذكرين المرج العشبي؟
حيث الأعشاب الخضراء المورقة...
تحت أشجار البلوط الكبيرة
حيث الهواء باردُ هناك ...
والشمس كلا لا تحرق كلا.
لقد صنعت من سريرك عند سفح التل،
وتغطيك الأغطية المصنوعة
من البارسمة والنعناع،
وتقف الازهار الصفراء منها والبيضاء
والماء في رقراقه يغني الاغاني
في ضحكة مكتومة
كما يعرج هنا وهنا على طول جريانه
أكثر من الحجارة الصغيرة.

لقد جئت الى طريقك البائس ..
بعيدا عن اعين الرقباء ...المستفزة ..
من الوحش الذي صنعه الانسان ..
الذي يقبع في الظلام ...
مع براثن الإمبريالية ..
والذي يُشرح جسمك قطعةٌ بعد قطعة ..
والذي يشبه روحك ويقربها الى الشيطان ..
ويعلن عن نفسه انه هو الإله في نهاية المطاف!

لقد جئت لتهدئة هموم قلبك الثقيلة ..
انا اقدم لك احضاني لروحك المنهكة ...
وسوف اغطي وجهك براحة يدي ..
سوف اجري شفاهي عبر اجزاء عنقك ..
سوف اشبع عيني من النظر الى جمالك ..
وسوف اغني لكي
لأني جئت لا جلب لكي السلام ..

لقد جئت كي اخذك الى الوطن
حيث الجبال العتيقة يصرخون باسمك ..
لقد صنعت لك سريرك
ووضعته عند سفح التل،
وتغطيك الأغطية المصنوعة
من البارسمة والنعناع،
وتقف الازهار الصفراء منها والبيضاء
لقد جئت كي اخذك الى الوطن
لا نك انتي من جلبتي لي السلام ..

........ A Tribute to Saartjie Baartman.........

Ive come to take you home -
Home, remember the veld?
The lush green grass beneath the big oak trees
The air is cool there and the sun does not burn.
I have made your bed at the foot of the hill,
Your blankets are covered in buchu and mint,
The proteas stand in yellow and white
And the water in the stream chuckle sing-songs
As it hobbles along over little stones.

I have come to wretch you away -
Away from the poking eyes
Of the man-made monster
Who lives in the dark
With his clutches of imperialism
Who dissects your body bit by bit
Who likens your soul to that of Satan
And declares himself the ultimate god!

I have come to soothe your heavy heart
I offer my bosom to your weary soul
I will cover your face with the palms of my hands
I will run my lips over lines in your neck
I will feast my eyes on the beauty of you
And I will sing for you
For I have come to bring you peace.

I have come to take you home
Where the ancient mountains shout your name.
I have made your bed at the foot of the hill,
Your blankets are covered in buchu and mint,
The proteas stand in yellow and white -
I have come to take you home
Where I will sing for you
For you have brought me peace."

هذه القصيدة ترجمت الى لغات عدة ومنها الفرنسية واعتمدها السيناتور الفرنسي كوثيقة سياسية في مناظرات مجلس النواب الفرنسي الذي اصبحت بعدها عملية جثمان سارة بارتمان ممكنة ..

سارة بارتمان أخيرا عادت إلى جنوب أفريقيا في التاسع من اغسطس ..2002 دفنت بالقرب من نهر Gamtoos ..

امتازت بجسد خازن للدهون والارداف الثقيلة بشكل مفرط ..وكذلك الاعضاء التناسلية الانثوية التي ربما كانت غير تقليدية ..

عاشت واصبحت مشهورة في القرن التاسع عشر باسم (زهرة الهوتنتوت ) واصبحت رمزا للشهوة الجنسية للجنس الاسود ..

حيث سرت اشاعات تؤكد ان السود لهم قدرة وشهوة جنسية غير اعتيادية ..اي خارقة ..رفضت التعاون مع علماء ارادوا البحث في جسدها ..

ارادوا ان يبرهنوا ان الجنس الاسود نوع مختلف ..عاشت في الرق والدعارة والاستعراضات وتوفيت بعدها بأربع سنوات من وصولها بلاد البيض ..

Her body as a foundation for scientific racism

Julien-Joseph Virey used Sarah Baartman's published image to validate racial typologies. In his essay, "Dictionnaire des sciences medicales" (Dictionary of medical sciences), he summarizes the true nature of the black female within the framework of accepted medical discourse. Virey focused on identifying her sexual organs as more developed and distinct in comparison to white female organs. All of his theories regarding sexual primitivism are influenced and supported by the anatomical studies and illustrations of Sarah Baartman which were created by Georges Cuvier. In cartoons and drawings Baartman's features were often exaggerated to highlight her difference from European females. This social construction of visual imagery likely amplified and reinforced racist perspectives. Little of this knowledge can be considered completely factual as most knowledge of Baartman is not extrapolated from diverse sources of documentation.


During 1814–70, there were at least seven scientific descriptions of the bodies of women of color done in comparative anatomy. Cuvier's dissection of Baartman helped shape European science. Baartman, along with several other African women who were dissected, were referred to as Hottentots, or sometimes Bushwomen. The "savage woman" was seen as very distinct from the "civilised female" of Europe, thus nineteenth century scientists were fascinated by "the Hottentot Venus". In the 1800s, people in London were able to pay two shillings apiece to gaze upon her body in wonder. Baartman was considered a freak of nature. For extra pay, one could even poke her with a stick or finger. Sara Baartman's organs, genitalia and buttocks were thought to be evidence of her sexual primitivism and intellectual equality with that of an orangutan.


There has been much speculation and study about colonialist influence that relates to Baartman's name, social status, her illustrated and performed presentation as the "Hottentot Venus", and the negotiation for her body's return to her homeland. These components and events in Baartman's life have been used by activists and theorists to determine the ways in which 19th century European colonists exercised control and authority over Khoekhoe people and simultaneously crafted racist and sexist ideologies about their culture. In addition to this, recent scholars have begun to analyze the surrounding events leading up to Baartman's return to her homeland and conclude that it is an expression of recent contemporary post colonial objectives.

In Janet Shibamoto's book review of Deborah Cameron's book Feminism and Linguistic Theory, Shibamoto discusses Cameron's study on the patriarchal context within language, which consequentially influences the way in which women continue to be contained by or subject to ideologies created by the patriarchy. Many scholars have presented information on how Baartman's life was heavily controlled and manipulated by colonialist and patriarchal language.

Baartman grew up on a farm. There is no historical documentation of her indigenous Khoisan name. She was given the Dutch name "Saartjie" by Dutch colonists who occupied the land she lived on during her childhood. According to Clifton Crais and Pamela Scully:

Her first name is the Cape Dutch form for "Sarah" which marked her as a colonialist's servant. "Saartje" the diminutive, was also a sign of affection. Encoded in her first name were the tensions of affection and exploitation. Her surname literally means "bearded man" in Dutch. It also means uncivilized, uncouth, barbarous, savage. Saartjie Baartman – the savage servant.

Dutch colonizers also bestowed the term "Hottentot", which is derived from "hot" and "tot"; Dutch approximations of common sounds in the Khoi language. The Dutch used this word when referencing Khoikhoi people because of the clicking sounds and staccato pronunciations that characterize the Khoikhoi language; these components of the Khoikhoi language were considered strange and "bestial" to Dutch colonizers. The term was used until the 20th century, at which point most people understood its effect as a derogatory term.

Travelogues that circulated in Europe would describe Africa as being "uncivilized" and lacking regard for religious virtue. Travelogues and imagery depicting Black women as "sexually primitive" and "savage" enforced the belief that it was in Africa's best interest to be colonized by European settlers. 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.

During the lengthy negotiation to have Baartman's body returned to her home country after her death, the assistant curator of Musee de l'homme, Philippe Mennecier argued against her return stating: "we never know what science will be able to tell us in the future. If she is buried, this chance will be lost ... for us she remains a very important treasure." According to Sadiah Qureshi, due to the continued treatment of Baartman's body as a cultural artifact, Philippe Mennecier's statement is contemporary evidence of the same type of ideology that surrounded Baartman's body while she was alive in the 18th century.

Feminist reception

Traditional iconography of Sarah Baartman and feminist contemporary art

Many African female diasporic artists have criticized the traditional iconography of Baartman. According to the studies of contemporary feminists, traditional iconography and historical illustrations of Baartman are effective in revealing the ideological representation of black women in art throughout history. Such studies assess how the traditional iconography of the black female body was institutionally and scientifically defined in the nineteenth century.

Renee Cox, Renee Green, Joyce Scott, Lorna Simpson, Cara Mae Weems and Deborah Willis are artists who seek to investigate contemporary social and cultural issues that still surround the African female body. Sander Gilman, a cultural and literary historian states: "While many groups of African Blacks were known to Europeans in the nineteenth century, the Hottentot remained representative of the essence of the Black, especially the Black female. Both concepts fulfilled the iconographic function in the perception and representation of the world." His article "Black Bodies, White Bodies: Toward an Iconography of Female Sexuality in the Late Nineteenth Century Art, Medicine and Literature", traces art historical records of black women in European art, and also proves that the association of black women with concupiscence within art history has been illustrated consistently since the beginning of the Middle Ages.

Lyle Ashton Harris and Renee Valerie Cox worked in collaboration to produce the photographic piece Hottentot Venus 2000. In this piece, Harris photographs Victoria Cox who presents herself as Baartman while wearing large, sculptural, gold, metal breasts and buttocks attached to her body. According to Deborah Willis, the paraphernalia attached to Cox's body are markers for the way in which Baartman's sexual body parts were essential for her constructed role or function as the 'Hottentot Venus.' Willis also explains that Cox's side angle shot makes reference to the 'scientific' traditional propaganda used by Cuvier and Julian-Joseph Virey who sourced Baartman's traditional illustrations and iconography to publish their 'scientific' findings.

Reviewers of Harris and Cox's work have commented that the presence of "the gaze" in the photograph of Cox presents a critical engagement with previous traditional imagery of Baartman. bell hooks has elaborated further on the function of the gaze:

The gaze has been and is a site of resistance for colonized black people globally. Subordinates in relations of power learn experientially that there is a critical gaze, one that "looks" to document, one that is oppositional. In resistance struggle, the power of the dominated to assert agency by claiming and cultivating "awareness" politicizes "looking" relations – one learns to look a certain way in order to resist.

"Permitted" is an installation piece created by Renee Samwise Green inspired by Sarah Baartman. Green created a specific viewing arrangement to investigate the European perception of the black female body as "exotic", "bizarre" and "monstrous". Viewers were prompted to step onto the installed platform which was meant to evoke a stage, where Baartman may have been exhibited. Green recreates the basic setting of Baartman's exhibition. At the centre of the platform, which there is a large image of Baartman, and wooden rulers or slats with an engraved caption by Francis Galton encouraging viewers to measure Baartman's buttocks. In the installation there is also a peephole that allows viewers to see an image of Baartman standing on a crate. According to Willis, the implication of the peephole, demonstrates how ethnographic imagery of the black female form in the nineteenth century functioned as a form of pornography for Europeans present at Baartmans exhibit.

In her film, "Reassemblage: From the firelight to the screen", Trinh T. Minh-ha comments on the ethnocentric bias that the colonizers eye applies to the naked female form. Minha argues that this bias causes the nude female body to be seen as inherently sexually provocative, promiscuous and pornographic within the context of European or western culture. Feminist artists are interested in re-representing Baartman's image, and work to highlight the stereotypes and ethnocentric bias surrounding the black female body based on art historical representations and iconography that occurred before, after and during Baartman's lifetime.

Media representation and feminist criticism

In November 2014, Paper Magazine released a cover of Kim Kardashian in which she was illustrated as balancing a champagne glass on her extended rear. The cover received much criticism for endorsing "the exploitation and fetishism of the black female body." The similarities with the way in which Baartman was represented as the "Hottentot Venus" during the 19th century have prompted much criticism and commentary.

According to writer Geneva S. 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. The photographer and director of the photo, Jean-Paul Goude, based the photo on his previous work "Carolina Beaumont", taken of a nude model in 1976 and published in his book Jungle Fever.

A People Magazine article in 1979 about his relationship with model Grace Jones describes Goude in the following statement:

Jean-Paul has been fascinated with women like Grace since his youth. The son of a French engineer and an American-born dancer, he grew up in a Paris suburb. From the moment he saw West Side Story and the Alvin Ailey dance troupe, he found himself captivated by "ethnic minorities" — black girls, PRs. "I had jungle fever." He now says, "Blacks are the premise of my work."

Days before the shoot, Goude often worked with his models to find the best "hyperbolized" position to take his photos. His model and partner, Grace Jones, would also pose for days prior to finally acquiring the perfect form. "That's the basis of my entire work," Goude states, "creating a credible illusion." Similarly, Baartman and other black female slaves were illustrated and depicted in a specific form to identify features, which were seen as proof of ideologies regarding black female primitivism.

The professional background of Goude and the specific posture and presentation of Kardashian's image in the recreation on the cover of Paper Magazine has caused feminist critics to comment how the objectification of the Baartman's body and the ethnographic representation of her image in 19th century society presents a comparable and complementary parallel to how Kardashian is currently represented in the media.

Display of remains

After Baartman's death, Geoffroy Saint Hilaire applied on behalf of the Muséum d' Histoire Naturelle to retain her corpse on the grounds that it was of singular specimen of humanity and therefore of special scientific interest. The application was approved and Baartman's skeleton and body cast were displayed in Muséum d'histoire naturelle d’Angers, where she entertained visitors until her skull was stolen in 1827, and subsequently returned a few months later.

The restored skeleton and skull continued to arouse the interest of visitors until the remains were moved to the Musée de l'Homme, when it was founded in 1937, and continued up until the late 1970s. Her body cast and skeleton stood side by side and faced away from the viewer which emphasized her steatopygia (accumulation of fat on the buttocks) while reinforcing that aspect as the primary interest of her body. The Baartman exhibit proved popular until it elicited complaints from feminists who believed the exhibit was a degrading representation of women. 

The skeleton was removed in 1974, and the body cast in 1976.

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