Julia Pastrana, once known as "the ugliest woman in the world," was born in 1834 with hypertrichosis terminalis, meaning her entire body was covered with hair several inches long. She also had a deformed mouth with huge teeth, leading one doctor of the day to declare that she was "a hybrid between human and orangutan." However, Pastrana sang with a beautiful voice and could speak several languages. She was exhibited by Theodor Lent, who eventually married her. In 1860, Pastrana gave birth in Moscow to a son who was also covered with hair, and who died within two days. Pastrana herself died five days later. Her body was preserved and exhibited by various owners for the next few decades, eventually ending up in storage in Oslo. Now, thanks to the efforts of Mexican artist Laura Anderson Barbata, Pastrana's body was returned to her native Mexico, where she was buried today.
People flocked to the town of Sinaloa de Leyva on Tuesday where Julia Pastrana was laid to rest in a white coffin adorned with white roses.
"Imagine the aggression and cruelty of humankind she had to face, and how she overcame it. It's a very dignified story," said Sinaloa Governor Mario Lopez.
"A human being should not be the object of anyone," Father Jaime Reyes Retana told mourners.