Zoos are one of those things that get less appealing as we get older.
Even for people who genuinely love animals, learning about them, and seeing them in real life, the zoo offers all of that but with a bitter aftertaste.
The animals aren’t in their natural habitat, just in a replica, and they always know it.
he unique experience of seeing these animals up close fades when you realize how tortured they are. But they’re just animals. It’s different with people.
Human Zoos were, indeed, a thing, and just as cruel as the zoos we know, but against other human beings. They seemingly flourished in the late 19th and into the mid 20th centuries in our modern history.
This was when African imperialism and colonialism were at their peak as the modern world encroached on native territories and took control of them in a growing campaign across Africa and South America.
Though most attitudes evolved over the centuries, these exhibits and circus shows stood as proof of the immense equality that flourished not that long ago.
10 /10 The Medici Menagerie
The origin of the Human Zoo in modern terms starts much earlier in the Renaissance period.
The Italian banking clan, the Medicis, had a collection of various animals and humans from around the world that were meant to be displayed as rarities.
These included Moors, Tartars, Indians, Turks, and many Africans. Over 20 languages worth of people were revealed and treated much like slaves whose only purpose was to be gawked at by European nobles.
9 /10 The London Tour
William Dampier, an English privateer and pirate, brought a human zoo to London in the late 1600s featuring a slave he purchased from the Miangas region of Mindanao, one of the largest islands of the Philippines.
The man was named Jeoly but was displayed and marketed as “Prince Giolo.” What drew people were his various tribal tattoos which were a far cry from the known patterns or techniques of the Western world.