Human zoos

It is hardly at every English or German fair of the first half of the XIX century a curious man in the street could see the whole variety of human races. Bushmen, Indians, Eskimos, Zulus, Nubians and even "earthy people" gave their ideas and, as they could, reproduced on the public to the public, their traditional way. In zoos and panels, the owners of which were collected by the amazing manifestations of living and inanimate nature, African villages were built and inhabited by those who enlightened Europeans revered for savages. Anthropologian scientists and school teachers, together with their students, came to mow, which whimsical forms can take human nature away from civilization.

In 1886, Karl Hagengek, a collector of wild animals and an entrepreneur who made his name and a state, demonstrating his zoo to the public, got another exhibit. Several blacks, mostly former Sailors Lincher "Bismarck", had to represent the curious life of the Cameroonian village: huts, costumes and, actually, Camerouts themselves. These are the latter, in addition to high growth and, more importantly, iscin-black skin, should have their place inside the social defendant of this Negro settlement in the center of Berlin. Provide the sailors yourself to choose our own public device was unacceptable. Camuna’s corrosion spoiled by civilization could hardly depict something authentic, and the management of the zoo decided to distribute the roles. Thus, the king of the settlement was chosen by a certain Dido, the son of the leader of the village of Bonabello, the will of the Fate turned out in Germany, – before the title acquires the figure at all insignificant.

The attraction enjoyed great demand among all the layers of German society, and even the Crown Princes Friedrich did not escape the overall hobby. Wanting personally to see the king of Dido, the prince invited him to the new Palace in Potsdam, where he paid to the ruler for some time – the heir belted that he was talking to the real king Cameroon. After an audience, Dido on the royal carrier went to the station to take the train and soon to be in his Berlin possessions.

It happened that the natives refused to follow the instructions of the Europeans and tried to establish their own orders in the territory of the zoo

After some time, after this memorable admission, Julius was soda, Governor Cameroon, who was at that time German, sent an angry letter to the metropolitan, where the outrage was described in the colors, which caused this event among the Cameroonian Elite. African leaders called Tsar-artist to be contemporary slave and revered the meeting of the future Kaiser with Dido for insult. This case almost led to the rebellion, and when in 1888 the Dido sent a letter to the dying Friedrich III, which was interested in the health of the emperor, Bismarck banned the Kaiser to respond to him.

Of course, such a scale scandals were rarely happening, but in order to avoid confusion, as well as simple fraud, the exhibits of living ethnographic exhibitions were to be examined by anthropologists for authenticity. The scientists of the men measured the length and width of the skull, studied the shape of the nose and the color of the skin, determined the language of the exhibits-natives. Often directly in circles and panels were gathered a kind of conservimia anthropologists, on which the belonging of the natives to one or another human race was determined – whether it was Nubians, Eskimos or Pygmy. At the "natural peoples", as they called, almost all non-European, should not have been any developed writing, religion or history, and any similarity with the Europeans inspired by scientists suspicious about the authenticity of the savages. If the savages were recognized as genuine, the holder of an exotic presentation fencing himself by expert opinion from any claims from the police, which otherwise could suspect it in fraud. In the same circuses and panels, anthropologists conducted their studies, laid wax busts, representing certain races, and taught students. From time to time, ethnographers travelers themselves supplied new exhibits for ethnographic attractions.

In the case of which an anthropologist could also separate the traditional classes of representatives of a particular race from unconventional and help them achieve authenticity in their views. So, for example, Anthropologist Felix von Lushan vividly spread the residents of the Islands of Bismarca, for which you need a house of ancestors and that it is necessary to turn the sanctuary in the likeness of antiquities. He designed for the melanesians of the routine of the day, where the morning (the rise at 6 am) was removed under the cleaning of the territory, and the rest of the day, with the exception of a lunch break, was dedicated to the "traditional" classes like weaving or pottery.

It happened, however, and so that the natives themselves refused to follow the instructions of the Europeans and tried to establish their own orders in the territory of the zoo. So, for example, someone Bismarka Bell, the inhabitant of the Cameroonian village mentioned already refused to be photographed in the appropriate costume, consisting mainly of the loining dressing, but preferred European jacket and shirt. Such behavior to the depths of the soul, outraged the background of Lushan, the head of this exhibition. Anthropologist called Cameroon Limited, unreasonable and badly educated. However, the amateurness of this kind did not always stumbled on such hard resistance, and often the natives themselves were directors of their speeches.

Human zoos

The word "Zulus" in the second half of the XIX century, in addition to the nationality, meant the fake – so much there were false Africans at fairs and in circus

So, for example, the troupe of the Zulus dancers, who traveled in England, refused to listen to her impresario and developed her repertoire independently. Many teams of Australian Aborigines, "Cannibals throwing boomerangs", were positioned primarily as artists and treated their work with great enthusiasm. When in 1853, one of the first real Zulusov came to London, the newspaper, noting how convincingly he "shakes his body parts", gave the following instructions to the English artists: "If the British could be just as fully forgetting themselves on stage, theatrical art would have reached unprecedented heights ".

The role of the sump-artist was indeed a profession – moreover, not only representatives of the "exotic" peoples could reach it. In England, where the attitude towards ethnographic expositions was not at all so trembling, as in Germany, often the Irish workers, and without those considered rather wild, depicted the aborigines of distant lands, as necessary. Popular at that time, the song was reading: "When the King of Cannibalov spoke, he could learn from his accent that he was from the crust". The word "Zulus" in the second half of the XIX century, in addition to the nationality, meant the fake – so much there were false Africans at fairs and in circus. Not always, however, fraud caused indignation: apparently, the category of authenticity was not so important for the English viewer. Moreover, the Irish themselves, along with Africans, relied in the metropolis of the "funny people of the Empire", which made them accent and the Manera hold on to the corresponding ideas about savages.

The audience of savage-artists was extremely diverse. In addition to anthropologists, almost all layers of European Society were seen on ethnographic shows: from workers to representatives of higher light (which is worth mentioned crowns Friedrich). An individual category of visitors was students of schools and guest houses, which teachers were driving on the exposition, who believed this kind of attractions extremely instructive: on the one hand, the children received an idea of ​​the diversity of the world around, on the other – became more and more committed to the European norm. In this kind of spectacles, the public did not find anything reprehensible – they were considered quite favorably. Moreover, the conditions of the content of exhibits are strictly controlled by the authorities: the natives should not have been slaves and could only act on their own will. From time to time, exotic artists themselves became entrepreneurs: Siamese twins from China Yen and Chang did without managers, they themselves concluded contracts and made discounts to cripples and old people who wish to visit the presentation.

Living ethnographic exhibitions and human zoos were not at all the remnants of the past, unknown as they were so popular at the end of the XIX century. On the contrary, such interest in exotic, to the fact that anyway does not correspond to the norm adopted in European society, it was directly related to the development of science and with the formation of a modern European person. Anthropology was born in human zoos, the young Europeans learned there to meet the norm. Only later, when the European man’s project was questioned by the two world wars, the interest in this kind of unsightly fun came up.

You might also enjoy:

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.