The Baboon Lady And The Birth Of Julia Pastrana

1385 Words 6 Pages
While records related to the birth of Julia Pastrana are somewhat blurred, it is likely that she was born somewhere on the Western slopes of Mexico’s Sierra Madre. It is believed that she was born in the year 1834. At that time, her physical characteristics of thick lips, wide ears and excessive hair growth caused great confusion: Some individuals theorized that she was the offspring of a human and an ape, a bear or a baboon, which led to her nicknames, ‘The Bear Woman,’ ‘The Baboon Lady’ and ‘The Ape Woman.’
Author Jan Bondeson Recounts Pastrana’s Early Life
In Jan Bondeson’s book, “A Cabinet of Medical Curiosities,”, he writes that, "According to the exaggerated accounts in the contemporary exhibition pamphlets, an Indian woman named Espinosa had become separated from her tribe in 1830, and was believed to have drowned. Six years later, however, some cowboys found her in a cave. She told them that she had been captured by a party of hostile Indians, who had imprisoned her in the cave, but no human beings could be found nearby." A child was found with Espinosa, she stated that this child was not actually her daughter; even so, Espinosa decided to care for her and love her. The child was christened Julia Pastrana. Several years later, when Julia’s ‘mother’ passed away, she was sent to an orphanage in a nearby city. Julia was described as an intelligent, sweet and excessively hairy girl. Due to her unique physical characteristics, Julia quickly became somewhat of a local celebrity.
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Julia became the live-in maid and a form of amusement for the governor. Unfortunately, she was not treated kindly: Therefore, once she turned 20 years old, Julia decided to return to her

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