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By Rikke Andreassen

From the 1870s to the second one decade of the 20 th century, greater than fifty exhibitions of so-called unique humans came about in Denmark. the following huge numbers of individuals of Asian and African foundation have been exhibited for the leisure and ‘education’ of a mass viewers. a number of of those exhibitions happened in Copenhagen Zoo, the place diversified ‘villages’, developed in the midst of the zoo, hosted males, girls and kids, who occasionally stayed for months, acting their ‘daily lives’ for millions of curious Danes.

This booklet attracts on certain archival fabric newly chanced on in Copenhagen, together with images, documentary proof and newspaper articles, to provide new insights and views at the exhibitions either in Copenhagen and in different eu towns. using post-colonial and feminist ways to the cloth, the writer sheds clean gentle at the staging of exhibitions, the way of life of the exhibitees, the broader connections among indicates throughout Europe and the taking into consideration the time on issues of race, technology, gender and sexuality.

A window onto modern racial understandings, Human Exhibitions offers interviews with the descendants of displayed humans, connecting the attitudes and technological know-how of the previous with either our (continued) smooth fascination with ‘the exotic’, and modern language and pop culture. As such, it will likely be of curiosity to students of sociology, anthropology and background operating within the parts of gender and sexuality, race, whiteness and post-colonialism.

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Extra resources for Human Exhibitions: Race, Gender and Sexuality in Ethnic Displays

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Victor and Alberta never saw their parents again. 70 A different fate was encountered by others, such as the Chinese people exhibited in Tivoli in 1902, who experienced far more respect from the Danes; a number of the Chinese men established romantic relationships with Danish women. In the following chapters, I explore the exhibitions in depth, illustrating the events of this period of Danish history and tracing the importance of the exhibitions for the exhibited people and for all of the Danes who came to observe the ‘exotic people’.

Retzius published his method in the book Om Formen paa Nordboernes Cranier (On the shape of Norse craniums) (1843), after which it became widespread. The method involved simple measurement of the length and width of the cranium, then examination of the proportions between the two measurements. Retzius claimed that there were two basic types of humans, or two basic races: the long-headed (dolichocephalic) and the short-headed (brachycephalic). However, according to Retzius, most people were a combination of the long-headed and short-headed races.

The museum, which belonged to the University of Copenhagen, quickly amassed a large collection of craniums and bones from many parts of the world. 8 The collection grew throughout the 1800s, especially with the addition of many craniums and skeletons from the 8 Cited after Poul Duedahl, ‘Fra overmenneske til UNESCO-menneske. århundrede’ (PhD dissertation, University of Aalborg, 2007), 72. 38 Human Exhibitions Danish colonies in Greenland and the South Asian Nicobar Islands; the latter were part of Danish colonial territories from 1754 to 1868.

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