Darwin’s book “Origin of the Species” was first published in 1859, and dealed not only with evolution but also with natural selection, and the survival of some races, where other races didn’t survive. This led to a great debate on who was, and who wasn’t, human. And among the humans, who was the most human?
A result of the debate was the case of Ota Benga, a pygmee who was found in the Kongo in 1904 by expeditioner Samuel Verner, and introduced to the president of the Bronx Zoo, William Hornaday. While he was usually seen as a boy, Ota Benga was in fact twice married, his first wife and two children were murdered by white colonists.
Ota was exhibitioned as a ‘symbolic wild,’ along with other pygmees, in the antropological wing of the St Louis World Exhibition of 1904.