On May 3, 2002, a group of South African citizens, international reporters, dignitaries, and common folk assembled in South Africa for a memorial service. Normally, such a ceremony would have attracted little attention. But this event was different because it marked the return of the remains of Sarah Bartmann, the so-called Hottentot Venus, to South Africa. Bartmann’s homecoming had not been easy. After years of repeated requests by Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first postapartheid president, France finally agreed to release her remains. Greeting Bartmann as a forgotten ancestor 192 years after she left Capetown, the Khoi people placed her remains in a wooden coffin, the first ever to hold them. Commenting on the meaning of the memorial service, one sixty-three-year-old Khoisan woman remarked, “It is important for her to come back. She is one of ours.” 1