The Eye of the Beholder: Julia Pastrana's Long Journey Home

Born in Sinaloa, Mexico, Julia Pastrana (1834–1860) was a gifted singer, musician and dancer who could converse in English, Spanish and French. She also suffered from one of the most extreme cases of hypertrichosis terminalis on record and severe gingival hyperplasia: her face and body were covered with thick hair and her jaw was disproportionately large. Pastrana toured North America and Europe billed as “The Ugliest Woman in the World.” After her death, her body was exhibited throughout Europe and the US. Until her recent repatriation to Sinaloa, her body was kept at the University of Oslo, Norway. Pastrana’s story raises issues around beauty, ownership, science and racism, human rights, colonialism, sexism and indigenous rights. Artist Laura Anderson Barbata has brought together scholars and experts from various fields to explore these and other topics as they relate to Pastrana’s extraordinary story.

By Laura Anderson Barbata
200 pages
Published by Lucia|Marquand, 2017
7.2 x 1 x 9.8 inches

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