Saturday, April 08, 2006

Yetis and High Felt Boots

On a Sikkim role (sun's already risen over the Catskills): 2 more from Desmond Doig (quoted in last post, who wrote the 1963 piece on Sikkim for National Geographic.)

In Paris when Professor J Millot of the Musée de l'Homme pronounced the scalp a fake and cast doubt on the Yeti, Khunjo said:

'In Nepal we have neither giraffes nor kangaroos
so we know nothing about them.
In France there are no Yetis
so I sympathise with your ignorance.'

- Desmond Doig

When Khunjo Chumbi learned that he had been selected to accompany the Yeti scalp to America and Europe, he prepared for travel.
He sent for four bricks of Tibetan tea and he ordered a new pair of high felt boots. He took his silver Tibetan teacup and a Tibetan rug, plus a selection of fur caps and turquoise and coral necklaces.
As presents for Queen Elizabeth, President Eisenhower, and the King of Nepal - bags of finely ground tsampa (barley flour), sacred scroll paintings, bricks of Tibetan tea and dried yaks tail fly whisks - traditional gifts for important chiefs.

- Desmond Doig

No comments: