Coming Home

Julia Pastrana (1834-1860) once performed in the U.S. and all over Europe. Although she sang, the majority of people came to see her because of her physical appearance. Her body was covered with hair and she suffered from hypertrichosis. She was sometimes labeled "The Ape Woman" or "The Ugliest Woman in the World." After her death during childbirth, her husband had her body, and that of their son, who inherited his mother's condition and who also died, embalmed and stuffed. Their bodies were on display until the 1970's. After being stored in a basement of a hospital in Oslo, her body was finally returned to her homeland, Sinaloa Mexico, due to the efforts of artist Laura Anderson Barbata. She was buried February 12, 2013. Her son's remains were lost in the 1970s and have never been recovered. In this podcast, you will hear a poem about Julia written by poet Wendy Rose (Hopi/Miwok).

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