ambassadors from mars


Today on Fresh Air we talk about the true story of two albino African American brothers from Virginia, who, for much of their lives, were in circus freak shows. They were billed as Sheep-headed Cannibals. Journalist Beth Macy explains, “They were exhibited as Eastman’s monkey-men, Darwin’s Missing Links, the Ecuadoran Savages and for most of their time, on the road with carnivals and circuses, they were known as Eko and Iko, ambassadors from Mars.” 

Macy has written a new book telling the brothers story—a story about race class and entertainment during the first half of the 20th century.  She says there were years when the brothers were virtually slaves. “They were exploited. They were forced to work for no money. They were told their mother was dead. They were just sort of bought and sold as chattel.” 

Listen to this story:

Kidnapped, Then Forced Into The Sideshow: The True Story Of The Muse Brothers