Ota Benga was a Congolese man from the Mbuti people (the Mbuti are one of the indigenous people of Central Africa who have been living in the region before the Bantu migration) who was featured in an anthropology exhibit at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, Missouri in 1904, and in a human zoo exhibit in 1906 at the Bronx Zoo.
Force Publique (established by King Leopold II of Belgium) killed his wife and annihilated his village while he had been away hunting elephant, lost his wife and children and later on captured by slavers. American Samuel Phillips Verner traveled to Congo in 1904 under contract from the Louisiana Purchase Exposition to bring back an “assortment of P*gmies indigenous people” to be part of an exhibition. Verner bought Ota Benga from slavers, Benga saw this as Verner saving his life from the slavers as he did not receive any harsh treatment from him. Verner’s plan was to bring back more indigenous people back with him to America but, the indigenous people (from the Twa ethnic group) did not trust him. Because Benga trusted Verner and thought he only had good intentions, he was able to persuade four indigenous men to join them. With the help of Benga, Verner was able to recruit Bantu men from he Bakubaand Baluba.
Ota Benga was first displayed in the United States as part of the World’s Fair in St. Louis in 1904. Here he was one of as many as “10,000 strange people,” or international “visitors,” on exhibit as part of an ethnographical showcase created to demonstrate the various levels of the “Great Chain of Being” and to highlight Darwin’s theory of evolution. Like European and American who were exploring the African continent, the World’s Fair organizers allowed their curiosity about nonwhite communities to take the form “often influenced by the current interpretations of Darwinism, so it was not simply who was human, but who was more human, and finally, who was most human, that concerned them.”
At the zoo, white crowds numbering forty thousand gawked at and taunted the twenty-three-year-old Benga, who shared a cage with a monkey, and more than once a group of visitors chased him around the grounds jeering at him, tripping him, and poking him in the ribs. His release came at the behest of a group of black American ministers, but only after he had spent a month in the zoo and then found himself ferried by the ministers to New York’s black orphan asylum, where he would be housed with children.
African-American clergymen such as Rev. James H. Gordon protested to zoo officials about the exhibit. Gordon stated “Our race, we think, is depressed enough, without exhibiting one of us with the apes,” Mr. Gordon said. “We think we are worthy of being considered human beings, with souls.” In defense of the depiction of Benga as a lesser human, an editorial in The New York Times suggested: “We do not quite understand all the emotion which others are expressing in the matter … It is absurd to make moan over the imagined humiliation and degradation Benga is suffering. The p*gmies … are very low in the human scale, and the suggestion that Benga should be in a school instead of a cage ignores the high probability that school would be a place … from which he could draw no advantage whatever. The idea that men are all much alike except as they have had or lacked opportunities for getting an education out of books is now far out of date” In response to the protest, Benga was allowed to roam around he grounds of the zoo.
Benga was later released into Gordon’s custody, he sent Benga to a church sponsored orphanage until he had to be relocated to Virginia because of the unwelcome press attention. Whilst in Virgina, Benga lived with the McCary family, his sharpened teeth were reshaped and he was bought American style clothing so he could assimilate into society more easily and quickly. Benga started school and improved his English and eventually got a job at a tobacco factory.
But as he, and they, grew older, something changed. By 1916, Benga had lost interest in their excursions to hunt and fish, and no longer seemed so eager a friend to the neighbourhood children. Many had noticed his darkening disposition, his all-consuming longing to go home. For hours he would sit alone in silence under a tree. Some of his young companions would recall, decades later, a song he used to sing, which he had learned at the Theological Seminary: “I believe I’ll go home / Lordy, won’t you help me.”In the late afternoon of 19 March 1916, the boys watched as Benga gathered wood to build a fire in the field. As the fire rose to a brilliant flame, Benga danced around it while chanting and moaning. The boys had seen his ritual before, but this time they detected a profound sorrow: he seemed eerily distant, as vacant as a ghost.That night, as they slept, Ota Benga stole into a battered grey shed across the road from his home. Before daybreak, he picked up a gun that he had hidden there, and fired a single bullet through his own hear
Ota Benga (second from left) and other Congolese boys 1904 Photograph: University of South Carolina
tw: anti-indigenous slurs
Photo taken by Art Wells, Saturday, November 19, 2011 at the gravesite of Ota Benga, White Rock Cemetery, Lynchburg, VA.
Ota Benga under My Mother’s Roof by Carrie Allen Simmonds McCray
“Town of God”: Ota Benga, the Batetela Boys, and the Promise of Black America by Karen Sotiropoulo
Ota the Other An African on Display in America by Jocelyn L. Buckner
It is one of the High Houses in Unova have sworn alliance to House Harmonia. It also happened to be one of the richest, thanks to their stronghold being located at the agricultural, southern region of Unova. Due to their wealth, many other Houses tried to curry favors from this family, or at least make alliances with them. Even though House Cerea is a relatively pacifistic family, their involvement in certain historical feuds caused them to make some dangerous enemies.
Similar to House Harmonia, House Cerea have several family members who are able to completely understand and communicate with Pokemon. The Cereas hail their ancestory from Demetris, a dancer who was said to have helped bring bountiful harvests when she befriended Landorus. Their traditional headquarters are in Abundant Shrine, and several Unovans are known to be living descendants of this House or the minor Houses that branched off from the original family. Much of Unova’s written history has been sourced from ancient archives that this family has kept for centuries.
Their sigil consists of an orange, 8-petaled flower over a trisected shield, the latter of which is supposed to represent the kami trio Pokemon. Their motto is “Share the Bounty.”
Known members of Cerea: Alder, Benga, Cedric Juniper*, Aurea Juniper*, Drayden*, Iris*
*These characters hail from minor houses that branched from House Cerea
To see the other Unovan Houses and their info, check the tag!
I have been getting quiet a few requests for my playlist. Well guys, here it is with the youtube links (apart from a few). You can download all of them from any youtube downloader. I usually use youtubemp3.tv