In 1906 a pygmy captured in the jungle of the Congo arrived at the Bronx Zoo in New York.
He was named Ota Benga and was exhibited to the public in a cage along with an orangutan and four chimpanzees. The experts explained that this humanoid might represent the missing link, and to confirm their hypothesis they displayed him playing with his hairy brothers.
Sometime later the pygmy was rescued by Christian charity.
They did what they could but it was hopeless. Ota Benga refused to be saved. He would not speak, broke dishes at the table, hit anyone who tried to touch him. He was incapable of doing any job, remained silent in the church choir and bit whoever tried to have a picture taken with him.
At the end of the winter of 1916, after ten years of domestication, Ota Benga sat down in front of a fire, took off and burned the clothing he had been obliged to wear, then trained the pistol he had stolen on his heart.
stem: eduardo galeano
perspectief: a different kind of history, shaped like a calendar, that shows us how to remember and how to live
titel: world day for cultural diversity bron: children of the days: a calender of human history (2013, vert. mark fried)
mopw: meerstemmige encyclopedie / hart