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stories and histories ELLA WILLIAMS, ABOMAH THE GIANTESS

Ella Williams, most famously known as Abomah the Giantess, was a remarkable woman whose towering stature earned her worldwide acclaim. Traveling frequently with touring agencies and circuses, she is an important figure in the history of Black circus performers.

Born in South Carolina in 1865, Ella was born into a family of s|aves. In a family of average sized brothers and sisters, it was eventually obvious that she would be quite larger than her siblings. When she was older, Ella started working for a family as a cook. She denied several requests to tour, but after being enticed by the pay, she came under the management of Frank Bostock in 1898, and performed under the name Madame Abomah.

Sideshow performers were often marketed with false claims and exaggerations to make them appear more special or interesting. And the newspapers claimed Ella was over eight feet tall even though she might have only been between 70 and 76.

Beloved in multiple continents, including North and South America, Europe, and Australia, Ella was a stunning Black woman. Seen as beautiful and elegant she always wore expensive, extravagant looking ensembles and resembled those of royalty.

With great poise, smarts, and wit, she was both charming and a remarkable songstress.


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