PERUMAL SAMI – The Other Happy Hindoo



Perumal was born in Madras, India in 1888 and his images are often mistaken for fellow multi-limbed Indian Laloo. Perumal began his exhibition career at a very young age and often appeared in photographs with an companion Indian dwarf named Soopromanien, who was sometime mistakenly called Sami. Sami was Perumal’s family name.

He toured primarily in Europe, but did tour briefly with the Ringling Bros. circus. While in America he gained a reputation for being a difficult and a perfectionist and displaying a strong dislike for western culture. He often refused to eat ‘American food’ and eventually employed his own Indian cooks to prepare his meals.

Just like Laloo and other marvels with parasitic twin, Perumal’s twin was billed as being female and was dressed accordingly. That was, of course impossibility and all parasitic twins are same-sexed.

Little else is known of Perumal. No record exists of his exploits, romantic of otherwise, following his official retirement in 1915.


  • Reply October 9, 2010


    It’s actually quite common for Westerners (well, at least Americans) to mix up the given name and family name for Indians. The family name is the “first name” and the given name is the “last name.” I know this because when my dad immigrated from India to America, his given name officially became my family’s last name ;).
    So, people tend to wonder why my mom and other people refer to him by his last name and not his first name, haha.

  • Reply August 17, 2015

    My name is Josephine Ross. Betty Lou Williams was my Aunt.

    If you have any other information, a book or anything on my aunt please let me know. Thank You Josephine Ross.

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