Radica and Doodica
also known as “The Hindoo
"Radica and Doodica - Siamese Twin" Poster
The poster of "The Orissa Twins" was created by
Emile Clouet and catered to the
Era's fascination with freaks and human
Doodica were born in Orissa, India in 1888. They
were xiphopagus twins, joined at the chest by a band
of cartilage, similar to Chang and Eng. When they
were born, the people of their village saw them as
symbols of divine wrath and chased the family out of
town. Their father wanted to separate the twins
himself and was about to do so when a local official
stepped in and rescued the girls, turning them over
to a local temple. The monks of the temple looked
after the twins and gave them their names.
SURGERY BEING PERFORMED ON THE
In 1893 they were purchased from their parents by
Captain Colman, a showman from London, who took them
to Europe to be exhibited. In 1902, Doodica
developed tuberculosis and the sisters were
separated, amid the wildest blaze of publicity, in
Paris by Dr. Eugene-Louis Doyen (1859-1916), with
the hope of saving Radica.
Dr. Doyen was a
very controversial figure in medical history. Many
view him as a pioneer. He arranged to have his
medical accomplishments both extensively
photographed and also filmed by moving picture
cameras. Dr. Doyen filmed the twins' surgery as
La Separation de Doodica-Radica.
To this day, his
motivations are held in question by some. While
claiming only the purist, educational motives, it is
nonetheless a fact that his films of Radica and
Doodica were shown as a part of Sideshow exhibits
and in early “Grind Houses”.
displayed shock that his films were being shown at
such sleazy venues and claiming the material had
been pirated and shown without his permission, he
even won a lawsuit over the use of his film of the
Over 100 years
later, it has been suggested that the good Doctor
may very well have been the phantom promoter of his
own materials after all! Yet, he was an
experimental innovator, having used film to document
CLOSING ONE OF THE TWINS FOLLOWING THEIR SEPARATION
DOODICA IN BED AFTER BEING SEPARATED
The operation was
considered a success at first, Doodica died shortly
after separation, and Radica also succumbed to
tuberculosis in 1903, having lived the last year of her
life in a Paris sanitarium.
Thierry Lefebvre, in his 2004 book
Flesh and Celluloid:
The surgical cinema of Dr. Doyen,
gives the sisters' surname as Neik.
Herald newspaper clippings dated March 2, 1902
is an original print from the Le Petit Parisien
showing the Orissa sisters Radica and Doodica an
operation that separated them in 1902. They
toured with a showman named Captain Coleman.
Prior to this article in the Le Petit Journal
Doodica came down with tuberculosis and the
twins were separated by Dr. Benjamin Doyen.
Doodica died shortly after the operation and
Radica died in 1904.
SIAMESE TWIN OPERATIONS
The Post-Mortem Examination
on Doodica Recalls the Precedents.
From The London Standard.
PARIS, Feb. 20.-The post-mortem examination of the body
of Doodica, the Hindoo twin, who was separated from her sister
eight days ago, and who died on Sunday was made yesterday by Dr.
Doyen in the presence of the local Police Commissary and several
physicians. The examination was made at the request of the
child's adoptive parents, in order that the actual cause of
death might be ascertained, with the object of obtaining any
indications which might be useful in determining the treatment
to which Radica should be subjected. The examination made
by the physicians satisfied them that the child's death was
entirely due to the ravages of the tuberculosis disease from
which she had suffered, and the advanced nature of which had
decided Dr. Doyen to at once undertake the operation. The
immediate cause of death was the bursting of a large abscess
which had formed in the lower abdomen. In the vicinity of
the operation there was no trace of hemorrhage of other alarming
symptoms. The heart was normally placed, and the brain, in
common with the other organs, was quite healthy.
Radica, the surviving sister, continues to make good progress.
In her case the tuberculosis was less advanced, and Dr. Doyen
hopes that she will make a complete recovery. At present
she is in ignorance of her sister's death, having been informed
that she had been removed to a warmer climate, with which
explanation she was quite satisfied. As soon as her health
will permit Radica will be removed to a sanitarium on the
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