Nepal

The Legend of the Yeti

He is hairy, has big feet, is of large humanoid appearance, consumes an omnivorous diet and smells of garlic and rotten eggs. He is also extremely elusive. But the Yeti, or Abominable Snowman, features strongly in Sherpa mythology in which he is endowed with various supernatural qualities including the capacity to become invisible.


The Yeti is often held responsible for sporadic vicious attacks on yaks, an occupation which has not endeared him to yak herders. He apparently kills by grabbing the unfortunate yak by the horns and using them to twist its neck. In 1974, a village girl was reportedly assaulted by a Yeti in Machhermo, two days’ walk north of Namche Bazaar towards Gokyo. The local police confirmed the attack, but failed to apprehend the suspect. It was this kind of antisocial behaviour, combined with his decidedly malodorous aspect, which led to the epithet ‘abominable’ being bestowed upon this abstruse creature. The word ‘yeti’, meanwhile, seems to have entered the English language in the 1920s and is thought to derive from the Tibetan me t’om k’ang mi, meaning ‘man/bear snowfield man’. The existence of an Abominable Snowman was first suggested to the world in 1898 by a Major L Wassell who discovered a series of large and inexplicable footprints in Sikkim. There have been numerous subsequent reported sightings either of the creature himself or of his ‘footprints’, notably by Eric Shipton in 1951. Yet he has continued to thwart all efforts to locate him or verify his existence. Footprints in the snow are written off as those of another animal which have been enlarged by the warmth of the sun, while an analysis of a Yeti skull from a Khumbu monastery revealed it to be that of a humble Himalayan serow, a goat-like antelope.


Studies of various relics and remains have suggested that there may well be something behind the legend. DNA analysis has shown similarities with the modern polar bear: perhaps an undiscovered and rare species of bear adapted to the harsh, upper climate of the Himalaya and (explaining its more aggressive nature) rearing up and walking on two legs. Until one is found, the legend goes on.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl. addresses, tel numbers, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF.


This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
Products in this Region

Bangalore & Karnataka Handbook

Karnataka is home to high-tech metropolises, ancient Hindu temples, ornate Islamic palaces,...

Borneo Handbook: Sarawak - Brunei - Sabah

The third largest island in the world, Borneo screams adventure. Footprint's 4th edition Borneo...

Vietnam Handbook

Vietnam's allure lies in its ripples of vibrant green paddy fields, historic temples, and...
PDF Downloads

  No PDFs currently available

Digital Products

Available NOW!
Read more...