|This is an old revision of this page, as edited by Luckas-bot at 16:34, 7 March 2011 (r2.7.1) (robot Adding: ne:यती). The present address (URL) is a permanent link to this revision, which may differ significantly from the .|
|Sub grouping||Homin, Hominid|
|Other name(s)||Abominable Snowman |
Migoi, Meh-teh et al.
|Country||Nepal, Bhutan, China, India, Mongolia|
The Yeti or Abominable Snowman is an ape-like cryptid said to inhabit the Himalayan region of Nepal, India and Tibet. The names Yeti and Meh-Teh are commonly used by the people indigenous to the region, and are part of their history and mythology. Stories of the Yeti first emerged as a facet of Western popular culture in the 19th century.
The scientific community generally regards the Yeti as a legend, given the lack of conclusive evidence, yet it remains one of the most famous creatures of cryptozoology. The Yeti may be considered a sort of parallel to the Bigfoot of North America.
- 1 Etymology and alternate names
- 2 History
- 3 Possible explanations
- 4 In popular culture
- 5 See also
- 6 References
Etymology and alternate names
The word Yeti is derived from Tibetan: གཡའ་དྲེད་, Wylie: g.ya' dred), a compound of the words Tibetan: གཡའ་, Wylie: g.ya' "rocky", "rocky place" and (Tibetan: དྲེད་, Wylie: dred) "bear". Pranavananda states that the words "ti", "te" and "teh" are derived from the spoken word 'tre' (spelled "dred"), Tibetan for bear, with the 'r' so softly pronounced as to be almost inaudible, thus making it "te" or "teh".
Other terms used by Himalayan peoples do not translate exactly the same, but refer to legendary and indigenous wildlife:
- Meh-teh (Tibetan: མི་དྲེད་, Wylie: mi dred) translates as "man-bear".
- Dzu-teh – 'dzu' translates as "cattle" and the full meaning translates as "cattle bear" and is the Himalayan Brown Bear.
- Migoi or Mi-go (Tibetan: མི་རྒོད་, Wylie: mi rgod) translates as "wild man".
- Mirka – another name for "wild-man", however as local legend has it "anyone who sees one dies or is killed". The latter is taken from a written statement by Frank Smythe's sherpas in 1937.
- Kang Admi – "Snow Man".
- JoBran – "Man-eater".
The "Abominable Snowman"
The appellation "Abominable Snowman" was coined in 1921, the same year Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Howard-Bury led the joint Alpine Club and Royal Geographical Society "Everest Reconnaissance Expedition" which he chronicled in Mount Everest The Reconnaissance, 1921. In the book, Howard-Bury includes an account of crossing the "Lhakpa-la" at 21,000 ft (6,400 m) where he found footprints that he believed "were probably caused by a large 'loping' grey wolf, which in the soft snow formed double tracks rather like a those of a bare-footed man". He adds that his Sherpa guides "at once volunteered that the tracks must be that of "The Wild Man of the Snows", to which they gave the name "metoh-kangmi". "Metoh" translates as "man-bear" and "Kang-mi" translates as "snowman".
Confusion exists between Howard-Bury's recitation of the term "metoh-kangmi" and the term used in Bill Tilman's book Mount Everest, 1938 where Tilman had used the words "metch", which cannot exist in the Tibetan language, and "kangmi" when relating the coining of the term "Abominable Snowman". Further evidence of "metch" being a misnomer is provided by Tibetan language authority Professor David Snellgrove from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London (ca. 1956), who dismissed the word "metch" as impossible, because the consonants "t-c-h" cannot be conjoined in the Tibetan language." Documentation suggests that the term "metch-kangmi" is derived from one source (from the year 1921). It has been suggested that "metch" is simply a misspelling of "metoh".
The origin of the term "Abominable Snowman" is rather colourful. It began when Henry Newman, a longtime contributor to The Statesman in Kolkata, using the pen name "Kim", interviewed the porters of the "Everest Reconnaissance expedition" upon their return to Darjeeling. Newman mistranslated the word "metoh" as "filthy" lilby, substituting the term "abominable", perhaps out of artistic license. As author Bill Tilman recounts, "[Newman] wrote long after in a letter to The Times: The whole story seemed such a joyous creation I sent it to one or two newspapers'".
According to H. Siiger the Yeti was a part of the pre-Buddhist beliefs of several Himalayan people. He is specifically concerned with the Lepcha people who he was told worshiped a "Glacier Being" as a God of the Hunt. He also reports that in the Bön religion they once believed the blood of the "mi rgod" or "wild man" had use in certain magical rites. The being was depicted as an apelike creature who carries a large stone as a weapon and makes a whistling sound.
Up to the 1960s belief in the yeti was relatively common in Bhutan and in 1966 a Bhutanese stamp was made to honor the being. Although in the twenty-first century belief in the being has declined.
In 1832, James Prinsep's Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal published trekker B. H. Hodgson's account of his experiences in northern Nepal. His local guides spotted a tall, bipedal creature covered with long dark hair, which seemed to flee in fear. Hodgson concluded it was an orangutan.
An early record of reported footprints appeared in 1889 in Laurence Waddell's Among the Himalayas. Waddell reported his guide's description of a large apelike creature that left the prints, which Waddell thought were made by a bear. Waddell heard stories of bipedal, apelike creatures but wrote that of the many witnesses he questioned, none "could ever give ... an authentic case. On the most superficial investigation it always resolved into something that somebody had heard of."
The frequency of reports increased during the early 20th century, when Westerners began making determined attempts to scale the many mountains in the area and occasionally reported seeing odd creatures or strange tracks.
In 1925, N. A. Tombazi, a photographer and member of the Royal Geographical Society, writes that he saw a creature at about 15,000 ft (4,600 m) near Zemu Glacier. Tombazi later wrote that he observed the creature from about 200 to 300 yd (180 to 270 m), for about a minute. "Unquestionably, the figure in outline was exactly like a human being, walking upright and stopping occasionally to pull at some dwarf rhododendron bushes. It showed up dark against the snow, and as far as I could make out, wore no clothes." About two hours later, Tombazi and his companions descended the mountain and saw the creature's prints, described as "similar in shape to those of a man, but only six to seven inches long by four inches wide... The prints were undoubtedly those of a biped."
Western interest in the Yeti peaked dramatically in the 1950s. While attempting to scale Mount Everest in 1951, Eric Shipton took photographs of a number of large prints in the snow, at about 6,000 m (20,000 ft) above sea level. These photos have been subject to intense scrutiny and debate. Some argue they are the best evidence of Yeti's existence, while others contend the prints are those of a mundane creature that have been distorted by the melting snow. It should also be noted that Eric Shipton was a notorious practical joker.
In 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reported seeing large footprints while scaling Mount Everest. Hillary would later discount Yeti reports as unreliable. In his first autobiography Tenzing said that he believed the Yeti was a large ape, and although he had never seen it himself his father had seen one twice, but in his second autobiography he said he had become much more skeptical about its existence.
During the Daily Mail Snowman Expedition of 1954, the mountaineering leader John Angelo Jackson made the first trek from Everest to Kanchenjunga in the course of which he photographed symbolic paintings of the Yeti at Tengboche gompa. Jackson tracked and photographed many footprints in the snow, most of which were identifiable. However, there were many large footprints which could not be identified. These flattened footprint-like indentations were attributed to erosion and subsequent widening of the original footprint by wind and particles.
On March 19, 1954, the Daily Mail printed an article which described expedition teams obtaining hair specimens from what was alleged to be a Yeti scalp found in Pangboche monastery. The hairs were black to dark brown in colour in dim light, and fox red in sunlight. The hair was analysed by Professor Frederic Wood Jones, an expert in human and comparative anatomy. During the study, the hairs were bleached, cut into sections and analysed microscopically. The research consisted of taking microphotographs of the hairs and comparing them with hairs from known animals such as bears and orangutans. Jones concluded that the hairs were not actually from a scalp. He contended that while some animals do have a ridge of hair extending from the pate to the back, no animals have a ridge (as in the Pangboche "scalp") running from the base of the forehead across the pate and ending at the nape of the neck. Jones was unable to pinpoint exactly the animal from which the Pangboche hairs were taken. He was, however, convinced that the hairs were not of a bear or anthropoid ape. He suggested that the hairs were from the shoulder of a coarse-haired hoofed animal.
Sławomir Rawicz claimed in his book The Long Walk, published in 1956, that as he and some others were crossing the Himalayas in the winter of 1940, their path was blocked for hours by two bipedal animals that were doing seemingly nothing but shuffling around in the snow. Rawicz's entire account has since come to be regarded as fictional.
Beginning in 1957, wealthy American oilman Tom Slick funded a few missions to investigate Yeti reports. In 1959, supposed Yeti feces were collected by one of Slick's expeditions; fecal analysis found a parasite which could not be classified. Cryptozoologist Bernard Heuvelmans wrote, "Since each animal has its own parasites, this indicated that the host animal is equally an unknown animal."
In 1959, actor James Stewart, while visiting India, reportedly smuggled remains of a supposed Yeti, the so-called Pangboche Hand, by concealing it in his luggage when he flew from India to London.
In 1960, Hillary mounted an expedition to collect and analyze physical evidence of the Yeti. He sent a supposed Yeti "scalp" from the Khumjung monastery to the West for testing, whose results indicated the scalp was manufactured from the skin of a serow, a goat-like Himalayan antelope. Anthropologist Myra Shackley disagreed with this conclusion on the grounds that the "hairs from the scalp look distinctly monkey-like and that it contains parasitic mites of a species different from that recovered from the serow."
In 1970, British mountaineer Don Whillans claimed to have witnessed a creature when scaling Annapurna. According to Whillans, while scouting for a campsite, he heard some odd cries which his Sherpa guide attributed to a Yeti's call. That night, he saw a dark shape moving near his camp. The next day, he observed a few human-like footprints in the snow, and that evening, viewed with binoculars a bipedal, ape-like creature for 20 minutes as it apparently searched for food not far from his camp.
There is a famous Yeti hoax, known as the Snow Walker Film. The footage was created for Paramount's UPN show, Paranormal Borderland, ostensibly by the show's producers. The show ran from March 12 to August 6, 1996. Fox purchased and used the footage in their later program on The World's Greatest Hoaxes.
In 2004, Henry Gee, editor of the prestigious journal Nature, mentioned the Yeti as an example of a legend deserving further study, writing, "The discovery that Homo floresiensis survived until so very recently, in geological terms, makes it more likely that stories of other mythical, human-like creatures such as Yetis are founded on grains of truth ... Now, cryptozoology, the study of such fabulous creatures, can come in from the cold."
In early December 2007, American television presenter Joshua Gates and his team (Destination Truth) reported finding a series of footprints in the Everest region of Nepal resembling descriptions of Yeti. Each of the footprints measured 33 cm (13 in) in length with five toes that measured a total of 25 cm (9.8 in) across. Casts were made of the prints for further research. The footprints were examined by Jeffrey Meldrum of Idaho State University, who believed them to be too morphologically accurate to be fake or man made. Meldrum also stated that they were very similar to a pair of Bigfoot footprints that were found in another area. Then, during the 3rd season mid finale visit to Bhutan, Gates' team found a hair sample on a tree that they took back to have analyzed. After it was tested, it was concluded that the hair belonged to an unknown primate.
On July 25, 2008, the BBC reported that hairs collected in the remote Garo Hills area of North-East India by Dipu Marak had been analyzed at Oxford Brookes University in the UK by primatologist Anna Nekaris and microscopy expert Jon Wells. These initial tests were inconclusive, and ape conservation expert Ian Redmond told the BBC that there was similarity between the cuticle pattern of these hairs and specimens collected by Edmund Hilary during Himalayan expeditions in the 1950s and donated to the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, and announced planned DNA analysis. This analysis has since revealed that the hair came from the Himalayan Goral.
On October 20, 2008 a team of seven Japanese adventurers photographed footprints which could allegedly have been made by a Yeti. The team's leader, Yoshiteru Takahashi claims to have observed a Yeti on a 2003 expedition and is determined to capture the creature on film.
A group of Chinese scientists and explorers propose to renew searches in Shennongjia province, which was the sight of expeditions in the 1970's and 1980's.
Misidentification of Himalayan wildlife has been proposed as an explanation for some Yeti sightings, including the Chu-Teh, a Langur monkey living at lower altitudes, the Tibetan Blue Bear, the Himalayan Brown Bear or Dzu-Teh, also known as the Himalayan Red Bear. Some have also suggested the Yeti could actually be a human hermit.
One well publicized expedition to Bhutan reported that a hair sample had been obtained that, after DNA analysis by Professor Bryan Sykes, could not be matched to any known animal. Analysis completed after the media release, however, clearly showed that the samples were from the Brown Bear (Ursus arctos) and the Asiatic Black Bear (Ursus thibetanus).
In 1986, South Tyrolean mountaineer Reinhold Messner claimed to have a face-to-face encounter with a Yeti. He has since written a book, My Quest for the Yeti, and claims to have actually killed one. According to Messner, the Yeti is actually the endangered Himalayan Brown Bear, Ursus arctos isabellinus, that can walk upright or on all fours.
In 2003, Japanese mountaineer Makoto Nebuka published the results of his twelve year linguistic study postulating that the word "Yeti" is actually a corruption of the word "meti", a regional dialect term for "bear". Nebuka claims that the ethnic Tibetans fear and worship the bear as a supernatural being. Nebuka's claims were subject to almost immediate criticism, and he was accused of linguistic carelessness. Dr. Raj Kumar Pandey, who has researched both Yetis and mountain languages, said "it is not enough to blame tales of the mysterious beast of the Himalayas on words that rhyme but mean different things."
Some[who?] speculate that these reported creatures could be present-day specimens of the extinct giant ape Gigantopithecus. However, while the Yeti is generally described as bipedal, most scientists believe Gigantopithecus to have been quadrupedal, and so massive that, unless it evolved specifically as a bipedal ape (like Oreopithecus and the hominids), walking upright would have been even more difficult for the now extinct primate than it is for its extant quadrupedal relative, the orangutan.
In popular culture
The Yeti has become a cultural icon, appearing in movies, literature, music, and video games.
Significant film appearances include The Snow Creature (1954), The Abominable Snowman (1957), Snowbeast (1977), Monsters, Inc. (2001), and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008), Yeti: Curse of the Snow Demon, (2008) Yetiko Khojima (Yeti; in search of Yeti, 2010).
The Yeti plays significant roles in some television shows, including the annual American Christmas broadcast special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer; in various Looney Tunes cartoons; in a Spider-Man story from The Electric Company; in "That's Snow Ghost!" in episode 17 (season one) of "Scooby Doo"; in DuckTales Episode 45; as the abominable snow monster Lost Crown of Genghis Khan; in Jonny Quest Episode 25; as the robotic Yeti in The Abominable Snowmen, a six-part serial from 1967 in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who (they returned in The Web of Fear, The Five Doctors, and Downtime); in Power Rangers: Operation Overdrive; in The Secret Saturdays: in Ben 10: Ultimate Alien; and in the 1977 American TV movie Snowbeast.
In literature the Yeti has appeared in Tintin in Tibet, by Hergé, in The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena, the 38th book in R. L. Stine's Goosebumps franchise, and in a gamebook in the Choose Your Own Adventure series. The Abominable Snowman is a character in the Marvel Comics Universe and the Snowman is a character in the DC Comics Universe. The Yeti was featured in the Indian comic Super Commando Dhruva. The name Mi-go is also used in the "Cthulhu Mythos" of H.P. Lovecraft and others, e.g., Lovecraft's story "The Whisperer in Darkness." It is also used in the adult fantasy book "Monster," by A. Lee Martinez where it is found eating ice cream out of a grocery store freezer. A quest for the Yeti is described in Philip Kerr's "Esau".
American heavy metal band High on Fire included their song "The Yeti" on their second album Surrounded by Thieves. Rock band Clutch (Band) have a track entitled "The Yeti" on their third album The Elephant Riders. A psychedelic trance collaboration called "The mystery of the Yeti", featuring many prominent names of the genre, was released on two albums between the years 1996...1999. "What's the New Mary Jane" was a song written by John Lennon (but credited to Lennon/McCartney) and performed by The Beatles. It was recorded in 1968 for the album The Beatles (aka "The White Album"), but was not used. It contained the lyric, "She liked to be married to yeti, he cooking such groovy spaghetti." A newly mixed version of the recording was officially released on the 1996 compilation Anthology 3.
Walt Disney World's attraction Expedition Everest is themed around the folklore of the Yeti and features a 25-foot-tall audio-animatronic Yeti which appears during the ride. At Disneyland a similar ride named the Matterhorn Bobsleds features three audio-animatronic Abominable Snowmen.
- Similar alleged creatures
- The Victoria Advocate
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|month=ignored (help)CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
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noMissing pipe in:
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