Over 150 years after her death, Julia Pastrana has been repatriated to her native Sinaloa, Mexico. She was interred there on Fat Tuesday, and the cast of The Ape Woman is celebrating. There were tons of articles in the mainstream press. Here are links to a few of them:
The New York Times
The Huffington Post
Laura Anderson Barbata, a visual artist from Mexico, was instrumental in returning Julia’s remains to Mexico for burial. It’s wonderful to know that it was art that brought about this amazing conclusion. You can check out some of Ms. Barbata’s work at her website.
I have been in touch with Ms. Barbata, and she very graciously returned my email. According to her letter, the funeral “was attended by hundreds of people despite the distance. People from neighboring communities came, women´s groups calling out: ‘No more Julia Pastranas’ in protest of the traffic of women, abuse and violence, and many others. Thousands of flowers were sent from all around the world and were placed over her coffin following the local tradition. There were so many flowers that the burial site dug for her coffin almost was filled, (despite being double in depth to protect Julia´s tomb from being robbed).”
The mayor of Sinaloa spoke at the funeral, stating: “Julia Pastrana has come home. She has been reborn among us. Let us never see another woman be turned into an object of commerce.”
I can’t tell you all how overjoyed I am at this news, and I wish I could have been there to see her laid to rest.
And as far as The Ape Woman? I am more excited than ever to produce this show again. I think, though, that a new song may be in order…