ABOMAH:


"THE AFRICAN GIANTESS" WHO WAS ONCE THE TALLEST WOMAN IN THE WORLD

Ella Williams (Mme Abomah) was once the world`s tallest lady in the late 1800`s and early 1900`s. She was reputed to be 7ft 6inch giantess. Though she was born in South Carolina in USA, her show manager claimed she was born In Dahomey (now Republic of Benin).

Born in South Carolina in Oct. of 1865, Ella Grigsby narrowly missed being born a slave as the 13th Amendment to the U.S Constitution was ratified only 10 months previous.  Ella came to work for Elihu and Harriet Williams when as a teenager.   Because Grigsby was the family name of her parent's slave holders, Ella took the Williams surname as her own.

Abomah claimed none of her other siblings were unusually large and she had been contacted by various vaudeville and circus promoters to sign a contract and tour as a giantess, but always refused. However, while working as a cook in her native South Carolina, she agreed to be hired by Frank C. Bostock for a tour of the British Isles in 1896.

The "tour" that Frank Bostock signed Ella up for was a tour of the British Isles.  Bostock understood that Ella's act would not go over well in her native country. Racism in Europe was not as pronounced as in the States so Miss Williams was ultimately to find greater success on foreign soil.

Bostock at the time mixed a little fact with fiction in promoting his act. He gave Williams the stage name Abomah, a name which came from Abomey, the capital of the Kingdom of Dahomey (now Benin). He further promoted Abomah as being a member of one of the legendary Dahomey Amazons, the all-female fighting force that existed around the time.

“One of King Dahomey’s Amazons who has been brought over to England for show purposes is a giantess indeed. Her height is eight feet, and she is both broad and muscular,” he used to say, according to the American press.

Abomah’s manager knew that in Europe, his strong and beautiful African Giantess would definitely be given massive audience. Over the course of her 30 year career Abomah was to tour not only Britain but most of continental Europe, Australia and New Zealand, South America, and Cuba.

Abomah also had very expensive and extensive clothing, making the Amazon Giantess always appear elegant and royal.

When Britain declared war on Germany in August 1914, Abomah cancelled her tours and came back to the US in March 1915. She worked for Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey and at Coney Island. Abomah was still doing shows in the 1920’s before she left the scene.

abomah once the tallest woman in the world

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