Biological Historical Human Evolution Philosophical


A byproduct of evolution was erroneous (pre-DNA) thought where the Europeans were thought as the most evolved while various aborigines and other peoples were believed as not even being ‘fully evolved’ to human. This lead to despicable displays that caged human beings as animals.

Between approximately 1870 – 1932 Europeans created “pre-human” zoo displays in cities such as Paris; Hamburg, Germany; Antwerp, Belgium; Barcelona, Spain; London; Milan; Warsaw, Poland; St Louis; and New York City. 

These were very popular “ape-men” exhibits where millions went to watch “black people displayed as ‘missing links’ connecting apes to more ‘advanced’ humans,  per Darwinian theory”.  These black human beings were forced to live in cages in the zoo similar to the animals.
A photograph of an unidentified man also, like Ota Benga, referred to as “The Missing Link” at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.
A white audience peers in on a group of Filipinos on display at New York’s Coney Island in 1905.
Ota Benga (second from left) and others on display at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. After Reverend James Gordon, an African-American clergyman, protested Ota Benga’s display alongside apes in a human zoo, The New York Times responded with an editorial that read: “The pygmies … are very low in the human scale, and the suggestion that Benga should be in a school instead of a cage ignores the high probability that school would be a place … from which he could draw no advantage whatever.”
Heck poses with some of the attractions he brought to the Berlin Zoo, including an elephant and an African family. 1931.
Maixmo and Bartola stripped naked and photographed, 1901. Human zoos were often also called “ethnographic exhibitions” and thus considered a way for anthropologists and the public to “study” other races. Often, the people on display would be treated like scientific curiosities to be prodded and probed.

Credit most photos:

Colonialism’s Cages: When Indigenous People Were Placed In Human Zoos, By Mark Oliver, March 9, 2017.

Credit Main image generated from a Postcard from Belgium 1905.