Old Literary Evidence for the Existence of the "Snow Man"
in Tibet and the Mongolian "Wildman"
|By Emanuel Vlcek|
In 1958 the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences sent an expedition to Mongolia, which started its first research project in co-operation with the Scientific Committee of Mongolia. The first task of the Czechoslovak - Mongolian expedition was the investigation of ancient Turkish memorials on the River Orkhon, dating from the first half of the eighth century. The expedition led by the Czechoslovak archaeologist Dr. L. Jisl and the Mongolian archaeologist Serojub, further included, on the Czechoslovak side, a physician and anthropologist (E. Vlcek), a technical assistant, a surveyor, a photographer, a driver and an administrative worker, and on the Mongolian side, archaeologists Perlé and Navan and ethnographer Badamkhatam. Twenty-five students of Choibalsan University, Ulanbator, worked at the locality investigated.
In addition to the
main task of investigating the memorial of Prince Kulteghine, the Czechoslovak
- Mongolian archaeological expedition also had a secondary anthropological
task - to establish conditions for anthropological research in Mongolia.
The expedition succeeded in ascertaining important facts and in gathering material on all three points. This subject will be discussed elsewhere.
The results of fieldwork were also intended to be supplemented by anthropological, anatomical and other medical data from Tibetan and Mongolian literary sources, which might have contributed to the history of anthropological investigations in Mongolia and Tibet.
While investigating Tibetan books in the library of a former lamaistic university of Gandan, I found a book, by Lovsan-Yondon and Tsend-Otcher, entitled in free translation "Anatomical Dictionary for Recognizing Various Diseases." This illustration shows a biped primate standing erect on a rock, with one arm stretched upwards. The head with the face and the whole body, except for the hands and feet proper, are covered with long hair. The illustration is realistic only stylized according to the conception of lamaistic art.
Trilingual captions 'samdja' in Tibetan, 'bitchun' in Chinese and Kumchun gördosu in Mongolian, denote this creature in translation as "man-animal." The book was published as a so-called Peking edition at the end of the eighteenth century in Peking.
While studying the
literature in the central library of the Scientific Committee in Mongolia
I found, in the Tibetan department, another more recent edition of the
above book printed a century later in Urga (now Ulan Bator, the Mongol
Capital). The author of this edition was Jambaldorje. An illustration
of the bipedal primate shown, along with monkeys appears in this book
also as a part of a systematic discussion of Tibetan natural history on
Left of the picture there is a Tibetan text which in free translation runs: "The wild man lives in the mountains, his origin is close to that of the bear, his body resembles that of man and he has enormous strength. His meat may be eaten to treat mental diseases and his gall cures jaundice."
Both illustrations of the wildman document in a remarkable way the existence of this creature known for at least two centuries to the natives of Tibet and to the monks who used to meet him from Tibet to the present Mongolia and therefore included him in a kind of standard textbook of the natural history of Tibet applied in Buddhist medicine. The Mongols themselves no longer knew this illustration, so that our search was the first to reveal these interesting documents of the ancient knowledge of the natives and monks of Central Asia, concerning the still obscure wildman in Mongolia and the rest of Central Asia.
The authenticity of these illustrations of the wild man is supported by the fact that among tens of illustrations of animals of various classes (reptiles, amphibians, birds, mammals) there is not a single case of fantastic or mythological animal such as those known from mediaeval European books (dragons, water monsters, demons etc).
These creatures mentioned here are actually living animals observed in nature. If this illustration is so realistic that is may be zoologically exactly determined up to the species even without reading the texts; there is no reason to disbelieve in the authenticity (except for the above mentioned stylizations, of course) of the illustration of the wildman.
An interesting detail which even further supports the ecological characteristics of the creature described consists in its being placed on a rock, which indicates the environment in which the animals lives, in contrast, for instance, to the arboreal habit of the monkeys shown on the right.
On Mongolian territory, the question of the occurrence of wildman called here almas or alboosty, is being studied by the Mongolian scientist, Dr. B. Rinchen. He has already gathered a number of testimonies of encounters with this almas. (Sovremennaya Mongolia, 1958, No. 5, pp. 34-38).
It is not yet possible
to say what the relation of the wildman of Mongolia, almas, to the so-called
snowman from the Himalayas may be, -but in view of the fact that he has
spread over the vast area of the whole "Roof of the World",
the existence of certain relations must be anticipated.
Portions of this website are reprinted under the Fair Use Doctrine of International Copyright Law as educational material without benefit of financial gain. This proviso is applicable throughout the entire website at www.bigfootencounters.com Bigfoot Encounters