Saartjie Baartman Gives Evidence in Dutch


This document shows the examination of Saartjie Baartman in the Court of King's Bench. Coming from the Dutch-colonised southern tip of Africa, she gave her evidence through an interpreter. She said that she had no complaints about being exhibited and 'was perfectly happy with her present situation'. How far she was coerced into making this statement is uncertain. The case collapsed as a result of her deposition.

Saartjie Baartman was ridiculed by the cartoonist George Cruikshank, whose caricaturisation of her exaggerated and distorted the black female form, helping to fuel the racist ideology of the period.

KB 1/36/4, f. 117 (27 Nov 1810)

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