dimanche 2 septembre 2012

South Africa / Austria: Give us back our ancestors!

Saartjie Baartmen the "Hottentot Venus" syndrome,

         In 2000, the Spanish authorities returned to Botswana to be buried there, the stuffed body of an African man who was exposed in 1916 at the Museum of Catalan town of Banyoles.
         Ten years ago almost to the day, France was forced to repatriate to South Africa remains the "Hottentot Venus," whose real name Saartjie Baartmen, a woman from the community Hottentot "Khoikhoi" which was exhibited as one freak throughout Europe in the nineteenth century because of its special character callipyge. Till this day, she is buried at Hankey, Eastern Cape.
         In 2009, Ghana has done the same with the skull of King Ahanta Aboade, Otumfuo Badu Bonsu II executed in 1838 by Dutch settlers and preserved from the Netherlands.
         Namibia has done the same process for 20 skulls of Herero warriors who lay in a German museum. September 30, 2011, during a moving ceremony at the airport in Windhoek, grandchildren son could pay them tribute.

"Repairing the past mistakes"

         South Africa, encouraged by these successful approaches, intensifying its efforts to repatriate the remains of his countrymen kept in museums in Europe.
         On 12 August 2012, it is a couple of Xhoisan, descendants of the indigenous peoples of the Kalahari, and Klaas and Trooi Pienaar was buried, after long negotiations with Austria. The President of the Republic of South Africa, Jacob Zuma was present at the ceremony alongside government official Austrian Manuel Gartner.
         Three hundred years after their death, both Xhoisan a couple descendant of the original inhabitants of Southern Africa had died of malaria in 1909. A few months after their deaths, the couple had been unearthed by the assistant of the physician, historian and
anthropologist Austrian, Dr. Rudolph Pöch(1870-1921).
         He then brings their leftovers in Vienna to conduct a study on indigenous peoples and dwarfism. Bodies of Klaas and Troii Pienaar become mere scientific objects, victims of colonial fascination, racism and oppression, according to Jacob Zuma, the South African president.
         It took a study by academics at the Cape and four years of negotiations with the Austrian authorities that the remains are repatriated to South Africa in April. On Sunday, two South Africans were finally buried in Kuruman in the Kalahari Desert, where they lived.

Other human remains of colonization in Africa will they return?

         During the French colonization in Algeria in particular, thirty six of whose skulls resistant Kabyles of the brotherhood Derkaou Bou Amar Ben kadida, Boubaghia Mokhtar Al-Titraoui Sheikh Bouziane, Si Moussa Al-Darkaoui, Aissa Al-Hamadji who fought the Emir Abdelkader in 1831 in the Medea region, were donated to the Museum in Paris. They gather the homeland?
         For this and other reasons more political than it will the French and the Algerians make a critical review of what was the French occupation of Algeria. As the Belgian and Congolese, Angolans and Portuguese with Mozambicans, the English with their former colonies in Africa.
         And through respect for the man as a whole, will we one day lead to a genuine dialogue "Truth and Reconciliation"
of cultures?

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