April 22, 2016 11:37 am

Have you ever heard of a human zoo? A human zoo was a place (and yes, they really existed in the past) where people were kept for display, just like animals are kept in zoos. It was obviously one of the most horrendous things one can imagine, and these pictures of human zoos are bound to terrify you!

Human zoo of the past.

1. Selk’Nam natives kept in exhibit in human zoos while being taken to Europe.

2. This was done by Carl Hagenbeck, the creator of the concept of zoos, and he did it by capturing 11 Selk’Nam people and putting them for display behind bars.

3. African girl being exhibited in a human zoo in Brussels, Belgium, in 1958.

4. Ota Benga, a Congolese pygmy was displayed at the Bronx Zoo in New York City in 1906, and was forced to carry around orangutans and other apes while he was exhibited alongside them.

5. This is Jardin d’Agronomie Tropicale, the human zoo of Paris.

6. It was built as a symbol of France’s colonial power, and it had over a million visitors in the six months that the exhibition lasted.

7. In this zoo, the villages were forced to reflect life in the colonies, from the architecture to the agricultural practices.

8. This place has today become a shameful blot on the history of the country and its people. In 2006, this place was opened up to the public as a garden, but barely do people even visit this place any more.

9. Sarah Baartman, who was dressed in tight-fitting clothes and displayed as something exotic is shown in the picture. After her death, her skeleton, brain and sexual organs were kept in display in the Museum of Mankind in Paris, until 2002, when after president Nelson Mandela’s request, her remains were repatriated.

10. A ‘Negro Village’ in Germany, exhibiting a mother with her child.

11. Another photo from the ‘Negro Village.’

12. It had become a fad to capture Asian and African people and exhibit them in makeshift ‘natural habitats.’

13. A picture of the Parisian World Fair, 1931.

14. Group of pygmies would be forced to dance for the entertainment of the visitors during the world exhibitions.

15. The list goes on and on. In 1881, five Indians of the Kawesqar tribe were kidnapped to be transported to Europe to be displayed. Similarly, many more other tribes suffered a similar fate.

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This post was written by Nadia Vella