20061231

 

Western paradigms

Excerpt: "...In 1751, Edward Tyson published a book entitled, The Anatomy of a Pygmy Compared with that of an Ape and a Man, which effectively introduced the Western world to the Pygmies as a subhuman entity...In 1906, the Bronx Zoo displayed its newest addition to the gorilla cage, a Pygmy man named Ota Benga. The New York Times touted the exhibit by calling it “the most interesting sight in the Bronx.” The animal-like perception of Pygmies penetrated the Western consciousness. Unable to return home, Ota Benga committed suicide ten years later...The 1988 movie Gorillas in the Mist presented the Pygmy as savage gorilla poachers, a concept that has never been largely questioned, despite the fact that Pygmies lived with gorillas in the forests of Central Africa for centuries without the gorilla becoming endangered, as it is today..."





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