Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The downside of my job

(You might prefer not to read this post)
On the whole I love deltiology, discovering new (old) places history, art and tradition. Occasionally I’m shocked by what I see. Usually scenes from the first world war. Today I picked up a postcard dated 1908 of a handsome young man from Ethiopia, a Gallas. I was expecting to see the name of his country on the card. No, he was a resident of the Jardin d'acclimatation in Paris. Today more or less a Children’s amusement park, in the past a zoo. I discovered that humans were exhibited there from the late 1800s. Up until 1930 (this is not mentioned on the English Wikipedia page by the way) visitors could throw coins into a pool in their enclosure so that they would dive into the water to retrieve the money.

As with most older photographs, fine details are very much in focus, especially his eyes.

The park does not have a happy history, all of the animals were used to feed Parisians during the siege of 1870…..

7 comments:

Donna said...

Goodness! I didn't know that!!!
Have a wonderful week sweetie!!hughugs

Josephine said...

A horrendous story Anji...it really really makes you think about what white European supremacy in the world was all about.

Anji said...

Donna: I couldn't believe it when I read it at first...

Josephine: Our past is not always something to be proud of.

utenzi said...

I doubt elephants taste very good but if you're desperate...

Anji said...

Utenzi: I think I read that elephants are not tasty at all, but during a seige I think i'd probably give them a try...

alan said...

I'm not sure when the "sideshows" in American circuses evolved to quit showing "human oddities" as Wikipedia puts it, but they were around 'til about that same 1930 point you mention or perhaps WW2. Now it's "Bonnie and Clyde's" death car and such...

We really can be quite grisly at times!

I had actually read a memoir of that conflict written by an American general who was there as an observer, but hadn't read of this before.

As you said to Josephine, our past is not always something to be proud of!

alan

Anji said...

Alan: Just when I think i've heard it all, something new comes along to shock. Fortunately, most human beings are good.