Bought from a slave trader and put on display at the Bronx zoo:
the strange, sad story of Ota Benga, a Pygmy with filed teeth brought from the Congo to America in 1906. Here
are a couple of contemporary news accounts of the controversial exhibit. After the zoo, Benga tried to make a life in America, studying to be a missionary. "But what he really wanted to do
was to tell everyone in this country that his people were dying, and why. I think he thought that eventually they'd listen. But they never did. That, to me, is the real tragedy."
In 1916, at the age of 32, he built a ceremonial fire, chipped off the caps on his teeth, performed a final tribal dance, and shot himself
with a stolen pistol. Creationists
say the story illustrates "the racism of evolutionary theory" and "the horrors that evolutionary theory has brought to society."
posted by CunningLinguist
on Aug 7, 2006 -