Julia Pastrana: The True Story of the Hybrid Bear Woman

A unique woman

Julia Pastrana was born in 1834. She arrived, steeped in mystery, and her life was as strange and sad as her birth. She was believed to have been born within a small tribe of Native Americans on the western slopes of Mexico. Not a lot is known about her early childhood, but she first appeared in public, when, in 1854, she was brought out and exhibited at the Gothic Hall on Broadway. The name she was billed under was a cruel and sad insult to her condition. Known as the marvelous hybrid or Bear Woman, others called her The Ugliest woman in the World. Her handler or owner was named as a Mr M. Rates and he saw the potential in her the second he found her, working as a servant girl to the governor of Sinaloa Mexico. Realising that she would earn him lots of money, he decided to start showing her to the public, A quote from the time stated her as, The Great Freak of Nature. The newspapers of the day said she was hideous, but in her favour she had a very nice singing
voice.


To the public's eye, she did have a very strange appearance. Her body was covered in hair, and her face even more so. A Jutting jaw, and very swollen gums added to her appearance. At four and a half feet, she was also said to look very like an ape in features. But she had dignity. Standing in front of an audience of thousands, Julia looked down at the audience and sang in a most beautiful voice. She had great poise. She was aware of the fact that she was different, but used her small frame and powerful persona to her advantage...

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