Venus Nanas are now named Plumpies... and here's why.

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Venus Nanas are now named Plumpies... and here's why.

It was brought to my attention by an archaeologist that the naming of the Venus figurines is colonialist and racist, something that shocked me. It probably shocks you too, and might leave you wondering how and why it matters?



Are you familiar with Sarah Baartman? She was taken from her home in South Africa and paraded around Europe as "the Hottentot Venus" in the early 1800s. This happened to many other women too. They were treated as freak shows because of their race and bodies. I knew about Sarah but what I didn't put together was that that around that time the prehistoric Venus figurines had been dug up, and called Venuses due to their exaggerated proportions, bodies that looked like Sarah's. There's an article called "The Cousins of Sarah Baartman: Anthropology, Race, and the 'Curvaceous' Venuses of the Ice Age." Please read up if you would like to know more.

I'm glad to now know about this and I'm not happy with a colonialist and racist name for my artwork. I will not reduce the name to Nanas either (it is French for girls) since France kept and exhibited Sarah Baartman's body for nearly 200 years! I will not be retroactively changing their name as I think it's important to follow the thread from ignorance to awareness.

After some thought, I settled on Plumpies! I love the word "plump". It's such a satisfying word to say. And when I make it into a noun and pluralise it you could read it as "plum pies" which are also delicious btw!

Say hello to one of the new Plumpies... her name is Rhaphi.

It'll take some time for me to get used to the new name but I love how cute it is.