Footballer Christian Karembeu Says That His Great-Grandfather Was Exhibited As A Cannibal In Hagenbeck Zoo Less Than A Century Ago

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Footballer Christian Karembeu Says That His Great Grandfather Was Exhibited As A Cannibal In Hagenbeck Zoo Less Than A Century Ago

Former French World Cup winning footballer Christian Karembeu has spoken out, stating that his great-grandfather was displayed as a zoo exhibit in the 1930s. In a statement that has further highlighted the treatment of black people throughout history.


Karembeu's great-grandfather was presented at the Völkerschau Zoo as an alleged cannibal. Willy Karambue was an inhabitant of New Caledonia, a French-controlled island in the South Pacific, and had been recruited along with around 100 others to travel to Paris for what they thought would be a cultural exchange mission. Instead, they were taken to the zoo in Paris and displayed as animals.


Soon afterwards, around 30 of the individuals, including Willy, were passed on to Hagenbeck Zoo in Hamburg, Germany, where they were advertised as 'the last cannibals of the south-seas'.


As part of the exhibit, they were forced to sing and dance and behave like wild barbarians.


The zoos involved, while acknowledging that such activity would be deeply frowned upon, have previously said that all the participants in the zoo were paid as actors and that they were in no way enslaved. They claim they were paid wages in line with actors and circus performers of the time.


Human zoos were not uncommon in times gone by. These became particularly popular in the 1870s as more and more peoples previously untouched by the western powers were taken back to Europe and the United States as exhibits. In many cases, force was used to ensure co-operation, while in other cases, false promises were used to ensnare people.


Hagenbeck in Germany that featured Willy Karembeu, was one of the most prominent of these human zoos.


Even by the late 19th and early 20th century, human zoos were criticised by those who saw them both as immoral and giving an inaccurate depiction of life in the furthest reaches of the world. While human zoos died away in the 1930s, other such exhibitions, which could have been considered 'human zoos', continued. Even in 2005, Augsburg Zoo in Germany featured an 'African Village' that was used to explain life within Africa. While all of the participants were paid actors, the exhibit still caused widespread controversy, given the nature of human zoos in the past.


[Based on reporting by: News.in-24]


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Thinking Humanity: Footballer Christian Karembeu Says That His Great-Grandfather Was Exhibited As A Cannibal In Hagenbeck Zoo Less Than A Century Ago
Footballer Christian Karembeu Says That His Great-Grandfather Was Exhibited As A Cannibal In Hagenbeck Zoo Less Than A Century Ago
Former French World Cup winning footballer Christian Karembeu has spoken out stating that his great-grandfather was displayed as a zoo exhibit in the
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