Vintage Portraits of Siamese Twins
There are so many human beings born whose physical or mental state doesn’t fit with the status quo. They often lead tragic lives of rejection, but many are able to transcend their outcast status and find love and beauty in their lives. Siamese or conjoined twins are people born together, forever joined to each other through physical connections – between bone, flesh and organ. Chang and Eng Bunker were the namesake of all Siamese twins to follow, born in the Siam province of Thailand in 1811, who later emigrated to North Carolina to live as slave owners on their own plantation, bearing 10 and 12 children respectively to their white American wives. The fact that these immigrant Asian conjoined twin”men were able not only to intermarry with white American women, but also to own slaves, speaks volumes for the place of black people in America at the time. But I digress…many conjoined twins in the 19th century married and had children, and lived lives in the public eye, since their condition put them on a stage in every part of their lives. Rosa and Josefa Blazek, born in 1878 in the Czech Republic, survived 8 days of starvation as infants to prove to their parents and community that they deserved to live, and were not abominations. As with many conjoined twins, they lived their lives in show business, on display at fairs and playing the violin for huge audiences. Below check out a gallery of some of the most remarkable and famous sets of conjoined twins born in the 19th century.
Cheng and Eng Bunker
Daisy and Violet Hilton
Millie and Christine McCoy
Rosa and Josefa Blazek
Lucio and Simplicio Godina
Images via Environmental Graffiti