Julia Pastrana, Mexican 'Ape Woman' Buried 150 Years After Her Death

A Mexican woman also known as the ''ugliest woman in the world'' after a rare genetic condition that covered her face in thick hair, was buried in her home state on Tuesday-153 years after her death, according to the Daily Mail.

Julia Pastrana became known as the "ape woman" after she left the Pacific coast state of Sinaloa in 1854, at the age of 20, and was taken around the United States by a showman named Theodore Lent.

Pastrana and Lent later had a son, but she developed a fever related to complications during the child's birth, and died along with her baby in 1860 in Moscow.

Even after her death, her body was exhibited around the world. Her remains ended up in a storage room at an Oslo institute, and after government and private requests from a visual artist Laura Anderson Barbata, the university shipped her remains to the state of Sinaloa, where they were finally laid to rest.

Barbata, who was born in Mexico City and grew up in Sinaloa, designed costumes for her sister's stage productions. She was moved by Pastrana's story.

"I felt she deserved the right to regain her dignity and her place in history, and in the world's memory," Barbata told the New York Times. "I hoped to help change her position as a victim to one where she can be seen in her entirety and complexity."

Pastrana was born in Mexico in 1834. She had two rare diseases, both undiagnosed in her lifetime: generalized hypertrichosis lanuginosa, which covered her face and body in thick hair, and gingival hyperplasia, which thickened her lips and gums, according to the NY Times.

"By ending up as part of a collection in a basement, she lost any trace of dignity," Ms. Barbata said. "My ultimate dream goal was that she should go back to Mexico and be buried."

Last Thursday, Barbata confirmed the identity of Pastrana's body in Oslo before the coffin was sealed. Barbata and a University of Oxford forensic anthropologist, Nicholas Márquez-Grant, noticed that Pastrana's feet still had bolts and metal rods that were used for exhibiting her body. The bolts were removed and placed at the foot of her coffin. "Her hands were tiny and perfect," Ms. Barbata said.

"The story is so important," said Barbata in a Fox News report. "Bringing her back here is a way of recovering it."

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