Miss Julia Pastrana

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Miss Julia Pastrana


Appenzeller Kalender


Ein Dienst der ETH-Bibliothek




IsVersionOf Appenzeller Kalender








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Translation by Asta McCarthy:

May the reader not be frightened by the creature which could be considered human according to the outfit, according to the head,though, could be a being standing way below the monkey genus. It was not the sick imagination of a painter, who jotted marks on the paper, it is Nature herself,who sent this human being into life in one of her strangest whims, and added one more unsolvable to her many puzzles. Were her head enveloped by an
impenetrable veil, we would not notice anything unusual. Her limbs are formed proportionately, the hands and feet even petite,, neck and shoulders are well-built; only, they are covered with long, black hair, as is the whole body. But what is carried by this neck, could raise ones hair in horror. It is not a head, beware, we only call it that because one is used to think of a head upon a neck. It is only a combination of the ugliest heads you can find of all the wild animals. The chin juts forward like that of a Baboon, the forehead is merely 2 fingers wide and carries a movable fat cushion, which is made even more ugly above the little black eyes by long bristle bushes. The nose is only a spongy lump of flesh with wide open wings and without a bone. All over the skull there is stretched an almost inch thick skin, covered all over thickly with longer or shorter black hair. At the cheek bones, around the chin, above the upper lips, at the sides of the nostrils and under the ears, these hairs come together in a strong beard. The ugliest of the whole face,though, is the large mouth, which with its thick lips, juts forward by almost an inch in front of the chin. Few of the teeth therein resemble human teeth, the tongue is a big mass of flesh without any distinct form. And this human monstrosity calls herself Miss Julia Pastrana? Doesn't this sound like mockery vis-a-vis all coconut-oil-soda-soap-washed misses? Yet, Julia Pastrana owns some traits one would least looks for in her. She speaks English and Spanish, sings quite nicely, plays the piano a little, dances very well and is familiar with womanly tasks. Of course, everyone who sees her or even just hears about her, will ask himself who were her parents and from where? That she stems from a wild Indian tribe in Mexico is for certain. What concerns more details, there are only wild rumors, the more unbelievable the more bears and monkeys play a role in them. J.P. shows herself for money in the capitals of Europe since a couple of years. A solace for wives, because when a husband sees her, he will from now on - be she ever so ugly - see in her a veritable Venus.




“Miss Julia Pastrana,” Julia Pastrana Online, accessed January 17, 2019, http://juliapastranaonline.com/items/show/60.

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