dimanche 20 mars 2011

The United States, Belgium, D.R. Congo and the honor of Ota Benga.

Pygmy born in 1881 in Kasai (now DR Congo). Small (like all pygmies), then it is 23 years old, measuring 1.45 m, weighing 47 kg.. He is married with two children.
After the removal of his tribe and his family by the Police Force of the Independent State of Congo, he is captured, caged and taken to the United States by the explorer Samuel Phillips Verner American pastor of the Presbyterian Church.
In 1904, he was exposed to the World's Fair St. Louis (New Orleans) with two orang-utan (Dinah and Dohung) and other chimpanzees.
From September 8, 1906, he is acquired by the Director Dr. William Temple Hornaday (1854-1837) who lodged him in a cage at the zoo and introduces visitors to the Bronx Zoo in New York as the "missing link" between man and monkey (on the advice of the Director of the American Museum of Natural History, Hermon Bumpus).
Some Sundays, the Zoo received up to 40,000 visitors. As it had sharp teeth, he was making faces. He let himself photographed with a monkey. His head cast in plaster and was exhibited in a museum.
The American press called him, the Piltdown Man or Nebraska. Following the protests, he came out first from the monkey cage and allowed the zoo before being released. Placed in the orphanage "Howard people of color" in Brooklyn and then engaged in a tobacco factory in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Aware that he could neither return to the Kasai or adapt to the U.S. where he was deeply humiliated, Ota Benga whose name means "Friend" sinks into depression, takes a gun and committed suicide March 20, 1916.
As the South African Khoikhoi Saartjie Baartman (1789-1815), nicknamed "The Hottentot Venus", he deserves to be rehabilitated by Belgium, the United States and honored by the Democratic Republic of Congo!

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