'Apewoman' to return to Mexico

Aug. 6, 2012 at 4:14 PM
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OSLO, Norway, Aug. 6 (UPI) -- The remains of carnival attraction and "Apewoman" Julia Pastrana will be returned to her native Mexico, Oslo University in Norway said.

Her body has been kept in Norway since the 1920s for research purposes, but a letter from Oslo University to Mexico's Ministry of Education, published in the scientific journal Uniforum, announced plans for a return to her home country for burial, the Norwegian news agency The Local reported Monday.

Pastrana was a dancer, born in 1834 in Mexico with hypertrichosis terminalis, a deformity that includes strong hair growth on the face and an oversized jaw. She was a feature at circuses and carnivals, and died in 1860 while on tour in Moscow, three days after giving birth to a child with similar features. She was mummified and displayed in a glass cabinet for the remainder of the tour. A Norwegian carnival owner bought her remains in 1921. They were stolen from a warehouse in 1979, and have resided in a sealed coffin at the University of Oslo's Department of Anatomy since 1997, the news agency said.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete, but Uniforum said she will be returned to Mexico after final scientific tests.

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