Human Zoos

Nov 2018
11
South Africa
#1
In the later 19th to the mid 20th Century, Humans were publicly exhibited in Europe and North America.

The ‘exhibits’ were from Colonial territories across the world and gave Europeans a window into the exotic world of Colonial adventures by purporting to show the ‘Savages’ in their natural environment.

Prior to the Human Zoos of the Colonial era, Human exhibition had been practiced throughout History particularly in the Roman Empire…An example would be Julius Caesar’s exhibition of the conquered Leader of the Gauls Vercingetorix at his famous Triumph celebration following his victory in the Gallic Wars. Spanish and Portuguese explorers were also in the habit of bringing back plants, animals and people from the lands they traveled for exhibition at Royal Courts.
https://afrikaiswoke.com/2018/12/09/history-of-human-zoos/
History Of Human Zoos | Afrika Is Woke
 
Jan 2009
1,181
#2
I disagree about Vergingetorix. It was more about showing the captured enemy leader before his ritual execution, rather than a 'Zoo'-like situation, where you could see Vergingetorix in a 'Gallic Village' diorama. You could just as well take all public executions at this point, since the condemned was 'exhibited' to the audience before the execution.
 
Aug 2009
5,066
Londinium
#5
I'm also under the impression the Romans had also made Sparta into a "zoo" of sorts. Kind of different than parading a defeated rival leader through the streets, especially given the delicate political situation Caesar found himself in.
Didn't many parts of Athens during Roman rule (notably under Hadrian) become so quintessentially "Greek" that it was akin to a zoo or diorama?
 
Jan 2019
12
Norway
#6
Ethnographic expositions were not racist as many people claim in modern times. It wasn't about insulting other races of people, it was about displaying the culture people who didn't attain an industrial level of development yet.

Some of the first ethnographic expositions were, in fact, expositions of people with (mostly) European ancestry, like the Lapps, or Saami. Laplanders were the first people to be displayed in Carl Hagenbeck's ethnographic expositions.

Also, stop calling it "human zoo". It's "ethnographic exhibition". It's not like people there were treated like animals, they were just displaying their culture to the curious eyes of the industrialized West.

Some pictures of ethnographic exhibitions that I appreciate :

It was drawn by German illustrator Carl Rickelt possibly during one of the performances of the kalmyk human zoo of 1884. It shows a Kalmyk woman with her children.



Few people know, but North American plantations were also displayed in those exhibitions. Here is a picture showing African American slaves in an exhibition somewhere in France, probably Paris.


Senegalese Musicians. The primitive instruments that they carry are known as "Kora" and "Balafon", the first being a sort of archaic lute, and the second being a sort of archaic xylophone with calabash resonators.


Somalis praying

You can find thousands of pictures there :
Collection Radauer – Human Zoos
 
Nov 2018
11
South Africa
#7
Ethnographic expositions were not racist as many people claim in modern times. It wasn't about insulting other races of people, it was about displaying the culture people who didn't attain an industrial level of development yet.

Some of the first ethnographic expositions were, in fact, expositions of people with (mostly) European ancestry, like the Lapps, or Saami. Laplanders were the first people to be displayed in Carl Hagenbeck's ethnographic expositions.

Also, stop calling it "human zoo". It's "ethnographic exhibition". It's not like people there were treated like animals, they were just displaying their culture to the curious eyes of the industrialized West.

Some pictures of ethnographic exhibitions that I appreciate :

It was drawn by German illustrator Carl Rickelt possibly during one of the performances of the kalmyk human zoo of 1884. It shows a Kalmyk woman with her children.



Few people know, but North American plantations were also displayed in those exhibitions. Here is a picture showing African American slaves in an exhibition somewhere in France, probably Paris.


Senegalese Musicians. The primitive instruments that they carry are known as "Kora" and "Balafon", the first being a sort of archaic lute, and the second being a sort of archaic xylophone with calabash resonators.


Somalis praying

You can find thousands of pictures there :
Collection Radauer – Human Zoos
Sure so you would have participated in one yourself as we observed you...'Ethnographic exhibition....Please
 
Jan 2019
12
Norway
#8
Sure so you would have participated in one yourself as we observed you...'Ethnographic exhibition....Please
Why not? If I was from a non-industrialized culture and proposed to do so, I would probably accept. I may even gain a lot of wealth from it, like Somalis or Indians who were exhibited there(with their own consent) did :

Hagenbeck would also employ agents to take part in his ethnological exhibits, with the aim of exposing his audience to various different subsistence modes and lifestyles. Among these hired workers were Hersi Egeh and his lineage from Berbera in present-day northwestern Somalia, who in the process accumulated much wealth, which they later reinvested in real estate in their homeland

The viceroy of India likewise gave Hagenbeck permission to hire local inhabitants for an exhibit, on the condition that Hagenbeck would first have to deposit funds into the royal treasury
 
Mar 2017
803
Colorado
#9
I disagree about Vergingetorix. It was more about showing the captured enemy leader before his ritual execution, rather than a 'Zoo'-like situation, where you could see Vergingetorix in a 'Gallic Village' diorama. You could just as well take all public executions at this point, since the condemned was 'exhibited' to the audience before the execution.
I agree with you. They didn't treat Vercigetorix any different that any other conquered enemy. Caesar displayed Arsinoe IV (Cleopatra's sister) in gold chains in a triumph, without the strangling at the end. Augustus intended to display Cleopatra the same way, and instead, displayed her children in gold chains.

It had nothing to do with a "zoo" display. In an age without YouTube, it was a way of saying "look at what I did!" ... an entire country is defeated.