Abominable Snowmen, by Ivan T. Sanderson, , at sacred-texts.com
17. In the Beginning …
In almost every book that I have written, I have found myself, sooner or later, disposed to interject a remark which, above all others that I ever heard, left the greatest impression on me. This was made to me by a V.I.P. in a distant and unvisited part of West Africa—a Paramount Chief. Having fixed me almost to a point of hypnotization with his enormously wise and expressive eyes, he stated solemnly: "The best place to begin all stories is at the beginning." Then he shut up and waited. As Paramount Chief of the region he was endowed with the status of Chief Justice both as an executive of the Government of the Protectorate and as paramount native Justice of the Peace; he was ultimate arbiter of all law; and, in Africa, this means deciding upon the validity or otherwise of stories. The Chief knew human nature.
It would seem that this positively cosmic piece of advice must have been offered long before the dawn of history, for all peoples seem to have taken it to heart. There simply is not a history—religious or secular—that does not start with something like "In the beginning …" The Bible gets off to a flying start in this respect, beginning, in its original form, "In the beginning, the Lord created heaven and earth …" With this, hardly anybody, and not only Jews and Christians, disagrees. All the other great religious histories start in much the same way. However, whether historians begin like this or, in the more secular fields, with the beginning of their nation as the original [and everybody claims this prerogative] people, one
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MAP XIV. THE WORLD
MAP XIV. THE WORLD
immediately or very shortly encounters a most odd circumstance. It transpires that, regardless of the fact that almost everybody is agreed that the Almighty started the whole works, there was an enormous length of time (or elapsed time) before We appear on the scene—usually by God's design, but sometimes just out of the blue. This is passing strange but you will find it if you dig back far enough into any statement made by any people about their origins.
Humanity seems universally to have attempted to adopt the Chief's admonition, but in the majority of cases to have run into a profound difficulty. The usual way around this was the declaration of spontaneous creation, either, as among those whom we consider to be the more advanced thinkers, by the One Power, or, as among those we say are of lower intellect, by a pantheon. This gets rid of the problem as to what went on before time started, as well as what was before this earth was formed. There is only one conflict in all this and that is between one group—and it is actually far the larger one, though this is seldom realized—that contends that neither time nor space have any beginning or possible ending, and another which contends that they did have a definite beginning and may have an absolute end. This latter party asserts that
before the beginning there was but God. These are abstruse matters of the higher philosophy but, as we shall see, they have a most profound bearing on our very pragmatic concerns.
The Bible in a way attempts a rational confluence of these two otherwise opposed points of view, by stating first that everything is indeed a willful act of God, but that it was, as concerns this earth and us, only an interlude in eternity. It then gets down to specific facts about this latter as, really, quite a separate subject. Thus it has two beginnings; the first cosmic; the second, terrestrial. But then again, unlike almost all other religious histories, it starts off still a third time with the beginning of Man—and by this is meant what we call Homo sapiens; not just the Hominids. On this last business, it is rather specific.
Now, this sort of thing crops up also in just about all historical `beginnings," even down to those given by the most primitive and ancient peoples who have ever left a record of their ideas. It is really a most odd fact and one which seems, to us, utterly illogical; namely that, if asked how it all started, everybody invariably says that thus or thus characters, who are usually claimed as the tellers' ancestors, came to the land and smote the horrible creatures which were already there, eliminating them and thus starting EVERYTHING. Sometimes the whole business gets really complicated as is so very pertinently explained in the Bible. For this I turn to a good friend of mine —a brilliant young scholar; the Rabbi Yonah N. ibn Aharon, B.D., S.T.M.—who has provided me with the following properly classical rendering of the appropriate passages from the Book, together with those pertinent commentaries that only true scholarship can provide. He says:
Nephilim is often translated "giants," but the commentators tell us that they were so called because men would fall (nophel) on their faces with fright at the sight of them. (cf. Ibn Ezra, B.K.) The giborim, who are later on referred to as giborei tsayid, are reputed to have been "as tall as a tree," in contrast to the shambling nephilim (cf. Yoma). Giborei tsayid means "The Mighty Ones of the Hunt."
Our main concern must, however, rest with the creatures who terrified the Israelites during the Exodus from Egypt and their period of wandering in the Sinai desert. These were the Sheidim—the Destroyers—who had been known to the Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) as the Seirim—the Hairy Ones.
The best scriptural description of their characteristics may be drawn by inference from the account given in Genesis 27 of the manner in which Rebecca connived to win the Rights of the First-born for her youngest son Jacob, as against the prerogatives of his twin brother Esau, who is described as "coming forth first from the womb 'reddish with a great mat of hair' " (as thick as a wig, as Rashi puts it). Esau grew up as a hunter, very much ashamed of his deep red covering, which earned him the nickname Edom, or Reddy, as the vernacular might have it. The implication of the text at every turn is that, although ostensibly Jacob's twin brother, Esau was no true son of Rebecca. It would appear, at least that she felt that way about it, because she forced Jacob to seek the blessing of his father, Isaac, whose weak sight made possible the success of the ruse. To this end, Rebecca, slew two young goat-kids (lambs, according to some sources), and clad Jacob, whom the text describes as her "smaller" (not "younger" as one would expect) son, across the back of his neck and around the wrists in their hide (Genesis 27:19 ff.). Thus prepared, Jacob went into the presence of Isaac, his father. It is from this interview that we learn most about the Hairy Ones, insofar as specifically Judaic sources are concerned.
Jacob was successful in passing himself off for Esau on three counts: (1) his apparent hairiness, which we have just accounted for; (2) his voice, and (3) the odor of his clothing. Jacob's speech, when he entered his father's chamber and identified himself as Esau, is thought by many not fully to have convinced the wily Isaac, but this impression is based on a misreading of the text. Isaac is quoted as saying "the hands are the
A composite physiological picture of the Hairy Ones shows us that they were Hominids, and, indeed, were close enough to modern man to be capable of intermarrying with other human races. They had long arms, and a mass of reddish hair covering their bodies, darker about the head than below; they attained a height of about 4½ feet (par for those days, I'm told) "like the stone hounds of Aram." Beneath the shaggy exterior, the bone structure was clearly evident, particularly on the legs, which were short and very straight, the elbow, neck, and heel joints being unusually large.
The habitat of this race is definitely known to have been restricted to the Sinai Peninsula; there are similar beings known to have lived in the South of Egypt, but the history of the Hairy Ones (as the R`aya M'himna remarks) was apparently bound up closely with that of the Israelites, who had to cross their territory to get to Egypt; and, inasmuch as the Israelites were relatively poor farmers, they were dependent on the Egyptian trade for their sustenance in years of famine, until the time of the Babylonian invasions. This limited habitat will, at any rate, account for the fact that the Hairy Ones never harassed the Egyptian homeland. But, just as they threatened war against Jacob after their candidate had been defeated in the election of a Nomad chieftain (which was, after all, the political role of the Patriarchy), they had no intention of allowing the Israelites to dwell in peace after the latter had made good their escape from Pharaoh. So intense was their onslaught that, within days of the Exodus, the Israelites were forced to dig trenches, and cover them with branches so as to protect themselves from the stone-throwing barrage of the Hairy Ones. One tactic which the latter favored was to cover themselves with pieces of foliage, or sand, so as to camouflage their whereabouts; the Israelites hoped to do the same for their dwelling-places (succoth). The Bible is
As soon as things settled back to normal, however, the God of Israel decided to assert his power against the Hairy Ones. His real reason for doing this is that, in the days before He ever thought of speaking to Moses, they had rejected him as their deity, in favor of a certain Azazel. Thus, no sooner was the Holy Sanctuary completed, than Yehovah gave orders to Aaron, the High Priest, who, as we read in Leviticus 16:7, "took two of the Hairy Ones, and caused them to stand before the Lord. And Aaron put tags on the Hairy Ones, one tag for Yehovah and one tag for Azazel. And Aaron made an offering of the Hairy One which he had tagged for Yehovah; and the one which had been tagged for Azazel remained alive in the presence of Yehovah, who sent it off to Azazel (who lived in) the desert, that it might atone (for the sins of Israel, according to the commentators)." Lest the casual reader mistake the seirim of this passage for the "hairy goats" (seirei `izim) of the verses immediately preceding it—as did the famous but unhappily incompetent modern scholar S. L. Gordon—Leviticus Rabba, the most ancient of the exegetical works of Judaism, spells it out for him: "These seirim are none other than the Destroyers, the sons of Esau." The similar meaning of seirim and sheidim is among the ten best cases of authenticated synonymity in the Hebrew language.
Thus, it may be understood that the "scapegoats" so glibly mentioned in the English translations, and in countless works on anthropology and psychology, were, in fact, manlike creatures, with considerable biological, if not spiritual and intellectual affinity to the rest of mankind, and that Aaron, acting under orders from Above, committed an act which, to our mortal eyes, looks like something very close to human sacrifice. The commentators are agreed in admitting this, but, as is the case with Jacob's deception of Isaac, they do not debate the morality of Aaron's obedience to the will of the Most High. The sacrificial rite was symbolic of Israel's complete subjugation to its God, and a repudiation of the power of the worshippers of Azazel, of whom the people had become so much afraid that they were sacrificing their produce to that deity at Yehovah's expense. Israel must turn out the Beast within, and sever itself from the sons of Esau, born of the same woman (Zohar).
And the word for abominate, in the Hebrew text, contains the same root letters as the word Seirim—an unmistakable play on words, and a fitting end to this discussion.
To which I would add that it is even more of a coincidence [perhaps] that the newspaperman, Henry Newman, should, three millennia later, have by pure mistake named certain similar creatures by an antonym in our language—for an object abominated is abominable.
I give this most curious, and in some ways wondrous sidelight prominence here for several reasons. First, because it is from the Bible, the very tenet of our faith. Second, because it is, as far as I can see, an absolutely unassailable example of the only modern credo that tries seriously to cope with what otherwise may be, and often has [I believe erroneously] been considered to be evidence of an uncompromisable conflict between our science and our religion. Myths, Legends, and Folklore [hereafter called MLF] may be laughed at or cast aside as the hallucinated maunderings of uneducated and often unthinking man; or, as in some quarters today, they may be elevated to a position of gross reality just as if they were about the only things that we can really rely on. Neither attitude is realistic or warranted. A lot of myths are straight history; a lot of history is pure myth. In the field of religion, and not just theology, there has always been a very widespread misunderstanding of the simple and obvious fact that most religious histories are clearly bipartite—being, on the one hand, philosophical; and, on the other, entirely pragmatic. The Bible, as
[paragraph continues] I have tried to point out above, is thus duplex in content; and, moreover, on the purely pragmatic level it is really three quite separate secular histories—that of the Universe, of the Earth, and of Modern Man. The Philosophical ground-floor is not, of course, our concern here: nor are the origin or history of the universe or this planet. What we are concerned with is the origin of man. On this matter Darwin had neither the first nor the last word.
I personally consider these pragmatic and secular parts of the Bible to be straight history written by sundry groups of the first peoples to use their brains, the first to try to investigate their environment, and the first to make some logical sense out of it. The Semitic peoples, starting, if we may use language as the criterion, with the Chaldeans, were certainly contemporary with and probably preceded—even if they did not actually play a part in the origination of—both the Harappa-Mohenjo-daro culture of the Indus Valley and that of the Egyptians of the Nile. They certainly seem to have been the first to leave written records. However, in their day, the greater part of the world was a pretty wild place and many things that have long since vanished were then still at that time right in their own back yard. By this I mean that they had primitive races [perhaps hairy] living at their very doorsteps, just as New Yorkers today still have mink, raccoons, and opossums wandering about the parks immediately over the rivers that separate Manhattan from Long Island and the mainland. Thus, anything they have to say about such leftovers then still extant, is thoroughly worth-while studying and analyzing.
From the preceding statements extracted from the Book of Genesis, I can but infer that in the peninsula of Sinai [see-nigh] there still lived at the time of the Exodus (1317 B.C.), a not inconsiderable number of hairy fellows of hominid genetical background, even up to throwing stones and breeding with the Israelites but who were at the same time advanced enough to have some primitive form of religion with a "god." I refuse to disbelieve these passages in the Old Testament: ergo, I must accept them as historic and thus that these types
existed. If they did so, it is, once again, no good just sitting back and saying "I don't believe it," or "So what?" or even just sitting back. It behooves us to get to work and at least speculate what they might have been, and why; and what happened to them. The same may be said for exactly similar types of creatures that appear, just as matter-of-factly, in early passages of almost every other secular history. And they do so appear.
I do not propose to go into the details of MLF. Not only is it not specifically our province but it is, except to specialists, incredibly boring; in fact almost as boring as having to wade through the names and perquisites of gods in multiple pantheons. Also, with respect to ABSMs or ABSM-like creatures, the whole business becomes unutterably monotonous for, from all over the world, the stories told are nothing but almost word-for-word repetitions of the modern reports that I have already given aplenty—giant, funny, or pigmy foot-tracks; tiny, man-sized, or giant hairy people; high-pitched whistles or gibberings; abducting of young human females usually followed by their release; and an almost invariable smiting or eradication of such types "In the beginning." The whole dreary business is a bore but it does still have very great significance, for it means that almost everywhere [apart from Australasia, Oceania, and Antarctica, as far as we know] sub-humans if not sub-hominids inhabited the whole earth prior to the arrival of the first Homo sapiens persons who proceeded to oust them or at least take over their territory.
In ferreting out noticias—as the Spanish so aptly put it—of the existence of these sub-humans in all the welter of written, transcribed, spoken, and remembered MLF, one does, however, have to be extremely careful to observe one basic fact. This is the very clear distinction made by most peoples—though little so by Caucasoids of the West during the past few hundred years—between three types of Beings; exclusive of the all-pervading Spirit, or God. These are: (1) Divine Entities, being representatives of God, gods, demi-gods, or disembodied noncorporeal personalities of another world but which may appear in this one and influence it. These are entities
in their own right that, while being able to assume human form or "enter into" humans, do not change their own identities. (2) Disembodied Spirits of various kinds. These may be the souls of people, dead or alive, mass-produced ancestors, spirits of animals, plants, stones, or anything else, either collective [generic] or individual, together with all manner of lares and penates. To most peoples these are just as real as living people, animals, or plants. (3) Unknown or as yet undiscovered but live, corporeal things.
ABSMs have always fallen very clearly and distinctly into the third class. Nowhere in the world is there any doubt about this. If asked, the "benighted natives" will usually say something like the Nepalese at Pangboche when asked by Stonor about the Meh-Teh alleged to have been seen the year before. The answer he got was "How could they [i.e. any of Nos. 1 or 2] leave footprints?"
I have a fancy that a somewhat extensive galaxy of alleged creatures in the folklore of Western Europe is of this same most pragmatic nature. If you come to look into what was said about Fairies, Pixies, Trolls, Titans, Vampires, Ghouls, Gnomes, Imps, Bogies, Brownies, Elves, Leprechauns, Satyrs, Ogres, and Fauns [as diametrically opposed to "ghosts," "specters," "apparitions," "spirits," "phantoms," "wraiths," "spooks," "banshees," "lemures," or "lorelei," which were definitely of Class 2], you will find that they may all be summed up by the classic line from the somewhat bawdy old English song that begins "There are fairies at the bottom of our garden"
Creatures, usually hairy, generally malignant, only rarely benevolent, but perfectly capable of breeding, as well as communicating with human beings, form the basis of these tales. And note, they come in four convenient sizes. The same may be said for all similar types known by whatever other languages all over Europe, North Africa, and a great part of what is today Russia. There seem, indeed, to have been "in the beginning" ABSMs of just the usual four types—pigmy; man-sized [and specifically of the Neanderthaler kind]; giant; and the bestial Meh-Teh with its abominable feet [cloven?] and pointed head.
Anthropologists have shown that most Australopithecines were tiny things like the modern Pigmies, while their cousin Zinjanthropus for all its enormous jaw development and molar teeth [its canines and incisors were tiny] was itself a little creature. There were undoubtedly "Little People" all over the place in ancient times. As to their having been "Giants in those days" we don't really know about western Eurasia, or Europe as we call it. We have a huge jaw from Germany [named Homo heidelbergensis] and the preposterously thick cranium of the thing alleged to have been found at Piltdown. In the Orient we have both Meganthropus from Java, along with Pithecanthropus robustus from the same area, and Gigantopithecus from southern China. Thus there were definitely "giants" available in southeast Asia and these could quite well have crossed over to the New World, along with hosts of other large animals before or during the Pleistocene ice-advances, and then have filtered on down to the Matto Grosso and the Guiana Massif. If there ever was a giant in Ethiopian Africa, it could just possibly have been of this stock; but we also have other very rugged-looking types there in so-called Homo rhodesiensis, fragments from Algeria (Atlanthropus), and from Tanganyika (another Meganthropus) which might have provided ABSM material on that continent. We discussed the candidates for the man-sized types in the last chapter—primitive modern men in Indo-China, and Neanderthalers in Eurasia. The matter of the bestial Meh-Teh type has also been investigated. This leaves us with a few vague rumors from Africa, North America, and the Indo-Chinese Block.
The masses of reports from Eurasia, ranging, as we have seen from the Caucasus to Manchuria, appear to have a distinct cohesion though to be of more than one specific type. It is interesting to note that this was the land of the Neanderthalers per se [Rhodesian and Solo Man only look somewhat Neanderthaloid], and the descriptions of the ABSMs seen there in no way conflict with our findings on that branch of the human stock. Likewise, the MLF that pertain to such concrete entities [i.e. Class 3 above] from this whole block of territory
provide us with as good a reconstruction of Neanderthal sub-man as any anthropological institution has yet concocted.
In other words, modern and historical reports of ABSMs; the findings of palaeoanthropology from bones and artifacts; and MLF, all converge and literally combine—yet on a precise regional basis, perfectly in accord with both ethnography and phytogeography. This is the clincher; so let us examine these two aspects of the matter.
As currently defined the major branches of the human (Homo sapiens subsp.) species are distributed as illustrated on the world map on page 376 (Map XIV). They fall into four pretty clearly defined lumps; one with five major divisions; one with four subdivisions; and the others with two. Spotted about, but very sparsely, are also the remnants of two other basic and more primitive groups both now nearly extinct—namely, the Bushmen and the Pigmies. [Of course, there are also the recent wanderings of the western Caucasoids and Negroids but these I have ignored as not being in any way germane to our story.] From this map one may see more or less how the world was about the time of Columbus, and before the expansion of Europe had really gotten under way. Armed with this, one may then proceed to consider ABSMs in MLF, and in point of current fact. Both classes of data fall exactly into a single pattern.
The status of both these folk-tales and current reports of ABSMs in the Americas is too confined and obvious to need much comment. One needs the more detailed vegetational map (see Map III) to elucidate the regional features. The northern tree-line clearly divides the Asiatic or Arctic Mongoloids [i.e. the Eskimos] from the North Amerinds. ABSM reports from this continent fall into two classes: those of giants right across the top and then down the western mountains; second, the much vaguer mumblings about "the little red men of the bottomlands" from the Mississippi drainage.
There is undoubtedly a great deal more ABSMery about South America but the reports of it are scattered through the voluminous local presses of its many countries, while our knowledge of the beliefs of and the factual information possessed
by the indigenous Amerindian peoples is sadly limited as yet. Just as in Central America however, cases have apparently gotten on to police-blotters with some regularity, and several reliable travelers have made reports. Among these are three that Bernard Heuvelmans has sent me.
In 1956, the geologist Audio L. Pich found on the Argentinian side of the Andes at a height of over 16,000 feet enormous human-like tracks, with prints about 17 inches long. In 1957, the Brazilian newspaper Ultima Hora of Rio de Janeiro stated that similar footprints had been found in La Salta Province of Argentina, and went on to say that a newspaperman found the people of a village named Tolor Grande in a turmoil, due to eerie calls at night emanating from the Curu-Curu Mountains. These are said to be the habitat of a dread creature called the Ukumar-zupai. In 1958, La Gazeta of Santiago, Chile, of May 6, published a report of an "ape-man" seen 50 miles from a place called Rengo by a party of campers. Several other witnesses are also quoted, and one Carlos Manuel Soto swore out an affidavit on May 13, which includes the statement that "I saw an enormous man covered with hair in the Cordilleras." It was also stated that the local police had investigated.
Turning now to the Old World, we find quite a different situation. Let me first dispose of Ethiopian Africa, something that I have really already done in that I tried to point out in Chapter 9 that, apart from the vague Tano giant and the Muhalu, which seems pretty definitely to be a pongid [just as the natives have always asserted], there is nothing to report but the widespread notion that pigmy races were once much more widely distributed; and still are so today, while some of these are so very primitive indeed as to be hairy. Most African peoples have a large and splendid pantheon of gods, and they also almost universally believe forcefully in another whole world of disembodied spirits of all kinds, but they make the clearest distinction between both of these and mere unknown animals, of which they still speak aplenty. If any of
these were hominids, Africans would be the first people to say so. They don't.
This leaves us with the continents of Eurasia and Orientalia for, as we have said, there is nothing to report from Australia, Melanesia, or Polynesian Oceania.
But here comes a rather ticklish matter. Map XIV which displays the distribution of modern men prior to the expansion of Europe has one most astonishing feature. This is the almost exact coincidence of the distribution of the Caucasoids and Mongoloids with that of the true continents (see Map XV) and with certain major boundaries between Vegetational Belts (see Map XVI). The coincidence would seem impossible did we not know that Man, being an animal, is just as confined by the limits of the environment in which he evolved as is any other animal; while the major factor in any environment is the form of its vegetation. However, this is not the ticklish matter.
Both the Mongoloids of the Old World and the Caucasoids are subdivided into three major lots, though all of course merge to some extent. But, if you dig back into the origins of all three branches of the Caucasoids, you will almost without exception find that they are known to have, said to have, or believed to have originally come from central Asia. There appear to be remnants of some really original Europeans in the Basques; of the Middle Easterners, in such isolated spots as the Canary Islands, the Atlas Mountains, and Abyssinia; and of the Easterners or Indians, in the southern part of that peninsula; but everywhere we look, we find a residue of Mongoloid penetrations or immigrations going back for millennia. The Semitic peoples alone would appear to have stayed where they originally evolved and to have rebuffed these Mongoloid hordes; an aspect of history that is of the utmost significance. Since the Caucasoid seems to be rather strongly dominant to the Mongoloid type, that type soon disappears physically when it slops over its own precise borders—vide, the purely Caucasoid appearance of the Slays and of the still later Magyars today. However, while they may appear to disappear
physically, their MLF usually linger on and become rooted in the lands they conquered or swamped. This has been most particularly the case in Europe; much less so in the Middle East; and surprisingly little in India, despite the many great Mongol invasions thereto and their long periods of dominance there.
In studying the traditions of Eurasia, we must therefore regard the area in two parts—the first that of Europe and central Asia to Korea; the second, that of the Middle East or Semitic world. Likewise, when we come to Orientalia, we have to make an absolutely clear distinction between Caucasoid India on the one hand, and the lands of the South or Oceanic Mongoloids on the other. There is, then, the added complication presented by the fact that the Northern or Arctic Mongoloids of the Old World also have clear traditions of ABSMs along with beliefs in a great number of such related creatures of the past, which they share with those of the Central Mongoloids and the Europeans. Throughout this whole vast area there is an almost universal "belief," amounting to a true folk memory—and which may in many cases almost be accepted as historical fact—of previous, now extinct, inhabitants of the land, who were sub-human.
Also, there is really no clear line drawn between these historical traditions and reality as we have pieced it together from archaeological and anthropological diggings and delvings. Nor is there any clear demarcation between sub-men and full men, in that lots of peoples seem never to have quite decided whether interbreeding was permissible or even possible. Since primitive man would presumably try to breed with anything sufficiently like himself on purely biological and instinctive grounds, the line may never really have existed in the first place, and therefore there may always have been crossbreeds [such as have been found in caves in Palestine between Modern Man and Neanderthalers] and thus of all manner of degrees of "man-ness" and "sub-man-ness."
It is interesting to note that MLF about such [and thus about what we call ABSMs] have everywhere shrunk back progressively through time from the initial centers of civilization.
[paragraph continues] To put it crudely: they disappeared progressively—first as accepted fact to become folklore locally but still fact over the border; then they became a legend locally, and folklore over the border, but remained fact "in far countries"; finally, they became mere myths locally but, going outward, first a legend, then folklore, and finally something only rumored as still existing in very far-off lands. This is only logical, for the earlier inhabitants of the land were either exterminated, absorbed, or driven out; and, as the centers of more advanced culture began to merge, the poor sub-hominids, then the sub-men, and finally even primitive true men had to keep moving out until they got into isolated pockets—mostly forested mountains where they were finally hunted out—or withdrew into the great uninhabited and unusable uplands. Anthropological history is absolutely clear and precise on this process, and the whole history of MLF marches along beside it throughout Eurasia.
The situation in the Middle East, that is from Mauretania to the Pamirs and south to the borders of Ethiopia and Orientalia (see Map XIV—the Central Caucasoids) was somewhat similar, but appears to have taken place on an earlier time scale, and to have been more rapid. The reasons for this are twofold. First, the "Modern Men" of this natural province appear to have been the first to become civilized and organized; but, second and much more important, this whole area suddenly dried up climatically just about the time civilization began, and it has continued to do so ever since. In fact, this desiccation may have been the primary cause of the development of civilization as a whole in the first place, for it must have acted as a tremendous spur to human efforts to survive. Sub-men and really primitive peoples seem to have been disposed of in very short order in this province on both these accounts and also because there were no great forested mountain blocks or uninhabited uplands for them to retreat to, either in it or for long stretches around it. The Sinai Peninsula was one of the few that there were, and we have seen what was there in the passages quoted from the Bible earlier in the chapter. Yet again if you look at this same map
you will perceive the very significant fact that ABSMs are reported from the Caucasus, the mountains of northern Persia, and the Pamirs; while very strong traditions and even some historical records (see Pliny) of their previous presence lingered on in Morocco till Roman times and in extreme southern Arabia till much later. The truth of the matter is that the primitives, sub-men, and others of the Middle East had nowhere to retreat to but deserts where they could not live; they could not cross the Mediterranean on the one hand or the Arabian Sea on the other to get to forested Europe or India; and when they went south [if they did] toward Ethiopian Africa, they ran head on into a large and most vigorous population who would just not admit them—the Negro peoples.
Today we find an immense amount of evidence—see Chapters 13 and 14—that not a few real primitives and/or sub-men (i.e. in both cases colloquially, ABSMs) seem to have managed to survive in the vast unused mountain blocks that cover the lands of the Central Mongoloids throughout central Asia; and it is possible that they may still be spread over the even less-known and practically unpenetrated uplands of the North Mongoloids in Siberia. However, the Russians only absorbed this immense subcontinent in the 19th century and they simply have not even yet been able to explore it fully; any more than we have parts of Alaska, the Yukon, British Columbia, and the Canadian Northwest Territories. This is a land of continuous—and particularly difficult—coniferous forest, actually forming the largest continuous plant growth on the surface of the earth. We may expect many surprises from there, more especially as there is plenty of already known ML and F among its inhabitants that is most pertinent.
The situation in Orientalia is similarly obvious; or, at least, it should be by this time. To take India first: as the human population grew—and it started to do so enormously at a very early date—the primitives and others had to get out. Here they had a fairly wide choice. First and most obvious were the forested uplands of the southern part of India itself and the island of Ceylon beyond; second, they had the mighty
[paragraph continues] Himalayan ranges hard by; and third, they had the Indo-Chinese Massif to retire to. Now, it seems that they went in all these directions for the legendary and recorded history of India is full of references to primitives in the southern Peninsula and in the mountains of Ceylon, until quite recent times [see especially, Bernard Heuvelmans' book for those in the latter]. Then, there are still some very primitive peoples in those areas; and these, like the Senoi of Malaya, in turn have traditions about even more primitive and often hairy people who preceded them. With characteristic pragmatism they do not, however, report them as still existing. Hence, no ABSMs, in India proper, today that is.
The Himalayas may be regarded as being "in India" and they certainly are in Orientalia. We have already heard quite enough of current ABSMs in that province, but we should add that MLF and all the rest about them there is, and always has been, rife throughout the entire country. Further, there are all manner of odds and ends of peoples still living in complete isolation in the area; as witness the so-called "Chaldeans" of Messrs. Jill Crossley-Batt and Dr. Irvine Baird, and the incredible "Jungli Admis" of McIntyre, whose account of which goes as follows:
My old friend Colonel Fisher, senior Assistant Commissioner of Kumaon, gave me the following short account of these interesting barbarians. "They were the original inhabitants of the country about there, but the persecutions to which they were subjected by the Kumaon Rajas, and especially by their neighbours the Goorkhas, were so cruel, that they abandoned their hamlets and retired into the wildest and least inhabited parts of the country, and lived on wild roots, fruits, and fish, and game, and lost all recollection even of their language. I was told by the Rajwar of Askote, they themselves have entirely disappeared from Kumaon, though there may be a few yet on the banks of the Sarda in our territory, or the thick
In this area tradition, rumor, ethnology, and proved reality all come together into one inextricable web of history, so that one cannot really draw any hard and fast lines between them. One has to steer a very steady course, bearing in mind, the very dangerous rocks of theology, mysticism, and our Classes 1 and 2, of [believed-in] noncorporate Entities. The area is also positively crawling with outcasts, hermits, religious initiates and now with displaced Tibetans, Communists, mountaineers, and goodness only knows what other types. Also, there are five kinds of bears in that country, several species of large monkeys, and at least two kinds of alleged ABSMs. However, in the minds and opinions of the locals, as the ethnologists quoted above so clearly state, there is really no confusion whatsoever about all this vis-à-vis the ABSMs. They have it quite clearly in mind which class of entity or creature is which, and the Dzu-Teh of Tibet, and their own Meh-Tehs and Teh-lmas—and the old tales and belief about them—form a distinct and clear-cut class of their own.
So we are left with the fringe lands of the South or Oceanic Mongoloids or what is often called Southeast Asia. This, as may be seen from Map XIV, coincides exactly with the remaining part of Orientalia but for its two overseas extensions to the island of Madagascar to the west, and out into the Pacific to the east to encompass the Micronesians. Among these peoples are the Japanese, the south Koreans, the Chinese proper [as opposed to the Manchus], the Indo-Chinese, which is to say Vietnamese, Laotians, Siamese, Cochins, Burmese and all their associated peoples, and the Malays and assorted Indonesians including the Filipinos. [The division
between these and the Melanesians and Australoids is not precisely along Wallace's Line, but somewhat east of it.] Here again we encounter all the same confluences and confusions between the findings of the physical palaeoanthropologists, the ethnographers, the philologists, native myth, legend, folklore, tradition, history, and current ABSMery In fact, this is par excellence just as we said above "the great mix-up." Although it is the homeland of the South or Oceanic Mongoloids, it has also been for untold millennia a sort of doorway between the West and the East. Just about everybody [apart from the Amerinds] have at one time or another streamed through here, either one way or the other, and most of them seem to have left some remnants of themselves as well as of their cultures, their beliefs, and their traditions, scattered all over the place.
First, there were undoubtedly sub-hominids here in the form of the Pithecanthropines; then sub-humans in the form of the Neanderthal-like Solo so-called men of Java; then a race of pigmies that everybody says were hairy and lacked proper speech; then what may be called Modern Pigmies—vide the Semang of Malaya, and others on the Andaman Islands and in the Philippines; next, small dark and possibly primitive Caucasoids of the last Vedda, then Dravidian types; next, another lot of peoples who have been called glibly the Oceanic Negroids, who have ended up as the Melanesians. Meantime, the true Australoids, or "Blackfellows" of Australia, seem once to have dwelt thereabouts before moving down into their southern land and becoming isolated. Next, came three quite distinct lots of Mongoloids, ending with the modern Malayans, Indonesians, and Siamese. And just to completely confound the issue, a group of very advanced Caucasoids passed right through from west to east, and on into the Pacific to form the Polynesians. There are moreover, as I say, traces of all of these passings to be found all over Malaya and Indonesia. Moreover, there is still ample room for primitives and ABSMs all over this continent, i.e. Orientalia, apart from Java where the population is too great. The Indo-Chinese Massif is an enormous unknown and mountainous forest country;
the peninsula of Malaya has great wildernesses; and Sumatra and Borneo are, in a manner, still empty. Even in overcrowded China there are large mountainous areas that the Peoples' Republic has not yet got around to organizing. Here it is not, however, worth-while even starting to discuss MLF. The sheer volume of these is too great; and that which deals with ABSMs seems to have no ending, and this is concentrated in some areas, but singularly lacking in others [such as Borneo], as I have pointed out. Moreover, it trails off in all directions, both in time and space, into living primitives—like the poor so-called "Hairy Ainu" of Hokkaido—and into types that even omniscient Chinese Communist officials seem unable to classify.
It should by now be fairly obvious that these abominable MLF stories cannot be ignored and may often add very considerably to our knowledge of both the past and the present status of ABSMery. Were there but one single case in all of it that did not jibe with the established precepts of vegetational distribution, general geography, anthropology, ethnography, or modern reports, we might have to think again and reappraise it—if not doubt it: but there is not so much as one single inconsistency in the lot. Thus, we must accept all of it as evidence for the previous existence of primitive races of modern men, of sub-men, and of sub-hominids. In doing this we have to remember only three sets of facts.
The first is that all men are xenophobes. The second is that almost all men believe almost as fervently and completely in a nonmaterial world as they do in the material one. Third, that the three great major divisions of Modern Man [who inhabit most of the earth today] are different. These differences are to some extent physical in their most basic aspects, such as spirally curled hair in the Negroids, partially curled or "wavy" hair among Caucasoids, and straight hair among the Mongoloids; but most of the other standard physical criteria break down—such as the degree of eversion of the lips, skin color, comparative length of limbs, and so forth. However, there is no doubt whatsoever that the three do differ—and radically—emotionally.
Emotion has nothing to do with intrinsic instinct or intelligence, aptitude, or ability: it concerns only the way in which things are done. In this, the three main types of modern men behave according to the nature of their original environment. The Mongoloids, developed on endless plains with nothing but a horizon to look at, are "contemplative"; the Negroids, developed in a land of violent colors, contrasts, changes, and multiple life, are "emotional"; the Caucasoids, having everywhere struggled upward amid a welter of physical problems, like wildly varying seasons, endless mountain ranges, rivers and arms of the sea to be crossed, ice ages, and so forth, are basically "mechanistic" or what they choose to call "practical." The Australoids, the Bushmen, and the little Pigmies are frankly quite beyond our ken. All three of the last seem to live and operate in a world so strange that we push most of its precepts into a vague realm that we have named parapsychology.
376:* p. 377 [Not on map due to scale.]
380:* Curiously, this crops up repeatedly—in Canada, the Himalayas, and in Central Eastern Eurasia. However, the potato was unknown in the old world prior to A.D. 1500.