The Myth And Mystery Surrounding The Elusive Yeti Of Bhutan
As far as the Bhutanese are concerned, the Yeti continues to live on in the collective belief and consciousness of the mountain people.
By Rinchen Zangmo | Kuensel
How does a Yeti look like? Who has seen one? Is it still around in this day and age to spook us in the darkest edges of the deep forests?
This mysterious creature goes by different names in different countries such as the Yowie, the abominable snowman and Bigfoot. The Yeti was also mentioned in ancient Tibetan and Bhutanese texts and scriptures.
“In Bhutan, it is known as the ‘Migoe’ which means ‘strong man’. In the remote east, it is known as ‘Dredpo’ for the male and ‘Dredmo’ for female,” Tshering Tashi said.
How does this mythical creature look like?
The Yeti is a legendary creature which resembles an ape and it stands at approximately 8 feet tall. It is said to be able to walk backwards and is quick to evade trekkers. It is purportedly able to render itself invisible which explains why very few people had been able to spot it.
Source: Monsters and Critics
However, as far as the Bhutanese are concerned, the Yeti continues to live on in the collective belief and consciousness of the mountain people.
In the olden days when there were no modern motor roads, people had to cross high mountains and deep ravines to get to their destinations. While doing so, there is a chance that they might cross path with the dreaded mythical creature. The belief was, and is, that if one saw a yeti, that would be the end of one’s life.
Since no one has seen a Yeti or rather no one who has seen one has lived to tell the tale, the belief is that in order to survive, one must run uphill if one came across a male Yeti. This is because the Yeti’s long hair would impede his movements uphill. And if one encounters a female Yeti, the advice is to run downhill as her huge and sagging breasts would greatly reduce her speed.
A book written by Daniel C Taylor about the Yeti
Daniel C Taylor who recently wrote a book about this creature titled “Yeti, The Ecology of a Mystery,” said that he had been working on the puzzle for over 60 years now.
He first saw a picture of the Yeti footprint on the front page of a newspaper at Mussoorie, India. Daniel strongly believes in the existence of the Yeti and would continue to do so.
“I began at age 11 to search the Indian Himalaya for a Yeti and I got tired. Here I am searching on the cooler valleys and eventually, I collapsed on the slope. But I will keep on searching nevertheless.”
Past expeditions launched in search of the elusive Yeti
According to Tshering Tashi, a Bhutanese author, there were four expeditions launched to find a Yeti – in 1987, 1991, 2001 and in 2007.
Speaking about the unsuccessful expeditions in the country, Tshering Tashi said that in the most recent one, a footprint believed to be that of a Yeti’s pointed to be that of a kind of a sheep.
As a tribute to the efforts of the explorers, a documentary of the expedition is expected to be released on October 19 this year in the UK.
A nature park dedicated to the protection of the Yeti in Bhutan
Tshering Tashi said that the country has about 750 sq. km of park area specially dedicated to the Yeti.
In fact, the MacArthur Foundation donated US$700,000 to the World Wildlife Fund in Bhutan to upgrade the management of the Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary.
With its temperate forests of beautiful rhododendrons and eastern blue pine, this 253 sq. mile of nature reserve is the only one in the world created to conserve the habitat of the Yeti.
“If we didn’t believe in the Yeti, we would not have dedicated a park to this mysterious being.”
This article first appeared in Kuensel and has been edited for the Bhutan Times.