Images of the Wildman Inside and Outside Europe

By | Jun 17, 2012 | Views: 736

By Forth, Gregory | December 27, 2007

Abstract Originally a figure of folklore, the European wildman gained prominence as a literary and artistic figure in the late Middle Ages, and in this form has commonly been interpreted as exercising a definite influence on later European representations of non-western peoples, non-human primates, and pre-sapiens hominids. Comparing the European image with wildman images encountered among indigenous peoples outside of Europe, this essay comprises a critical review of such arguments. Focusing on physical and behavioural attributes, consideration is first given to similarities and differences between European and non-European wildmen, paying particular attention to images recorded among small-scale societies in Asia. Turning to the reconstructions of paleoanthropology and the objects of cryptozoology, it is then shown how reducing representations of ancient humans and modern wildmen to a discursive survival of the European mediaeval figure obscures both the radical transformation of the European image in later centuries and the independent existence of comparable non-western images.

 

Introduction:

In 2004, palaeoanthropologists working on the island of Flores announced the discovery of hominid remains they interpreted as a new species, Homo floresiensis. Dating to as recently as twelve thousand years ago, the creature was apparently contemporary with modern humans in this part of Indonesia (Brown et al. 2004; Morwood et al. 2004). One effect of this startling find was a refocusing of anthropological attention on the figure of the “wildman”-a reference to physically primitive and characteristically hairy hominoids reputed to lead a cultureless existence in deep forests and mountain caves. More particularly, it was claimed that Homo floresiensis bears a significant resemblance to such figures, and especially to the “ebu gogo,” sub-human creatures that the Nage people of central Flores claim were exterminated by their ancestors about two centuries ago (see Forth 1998; 2005). [1]

Although more directly derived from cryptozoology (the investigation of putative animal species not recognised by western zoology), the use of “wildman” (or “wild man”) for creatures like the Nage ebu gogo recalls a far older usage. For this was the name given to a figure of European folklore that, from the thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries, developed as a prominent allegorical device in late mediaeval literature and art. Not long before the discovery of Homo floresiensis, the European wildman had received anthropological attention in another context, as a figure that has influenced, perhaps unduly, palaeoanthropological theories of pre- sapiens hominids (see Corbey and Theunissen 1995; Stoczkowski 2002). Corresponding to these two interests, the present essay has two objectives. The first is to review features of the European wildman and consider how far these correspond to features of similar figures in other parts of the world, paying particular attention to categories recognised by small-scale rural societies in Asia and elsewhere. Although these non-western categories obviously cannot be treated comprehensively in a single paper, it should be emphasised that the images to which they refer are indeed indigenous, and not a simple product of contact with Europeans. While historians and others have treated figures such as the Himalayan “yeti,” the North American “sasquatch” (or “bigfoot”), and the Sumatran “orang pendek” as artefacts of western imagination and products of European colonial history, reputed sightings by westerners of all these figures have counterparts in the putative local experience and folk zoology of nonwestern peoples.

Concerning the broader question of how far the image has been a continuous factor of European cultural experience since the Middle Ages, my second objective is to consider critically the hypothetical influence of the wildman on earlier western understandings of non- western peoples and non-human primates, and ultimately on modern palaeoanthropological reconstruction and on cryptozoology. In this connection I argue that the image of the wildman has influenced palaeoanthropological models only indirectly, by way of ethnographic and primatological analogies and earlier understandings of primates and “primitives” more directly influenced by the mediaeval figure. As will become apparent, western and non-western images of the wildman share many features, thereby suggesting variants of a pan- human archetype likely to find expression independently of individual cultures and histories. In so far as both may be traced to the same source in human cognition, such apparent universality challenges historical continuity as an explanation of similarities between late mediaeval wildman imagery and, for example, the imagery of human palaeontology or figures occasionally reported in modern ethnographies. Notwithstanding the resemblances, however, European and non-European wildmen differ in important ways, as do non- western images among themselves. Also, whatever the force of a culturally undetermined proclivity to construct essentially identical images, similar representations encountered in culturally diverse places could be attributed to their reflecting similar empirical referents-if not surviving or recently surviving hominids, then experience of non-human animals, including monkeys and apes. I do not expect to resolve all of these issues in the present paper. Nevertheless, it should become clear how cross-cultural evidence and several methodological problems need to be addressed if these resemblances are to be explained.

 

The Wildman Within and Without Europe

There is now a considerable canon devoted to the European wildman (for example, Dudley and Novak 1972; White 1978; Husband 1980; Bartra 1994). Most useful for comparative purposes, however, is the art historian Richard Bernheimer’s comprehensive review (1952) of physical and behavioural attributes of the wildman, particularly as a figure of both European folklore and late mediaeval art and literature. As Bernheimer notes, if there is one definitive feature of wildmen beside their generally hominoid form, it is a hirsute body (1952, 1). Indeed, a hominoid form combined with a hairy body defines wildmen everywhere. However, an important difference between European wildmen and their counterparts in other parts of the world may be registered straightaway. Informing and in a sense constituting Asian, African, and American hominoids are reports of reputed sightings-by local people or Europeans-either of the creatures themselves or their traces (for example, footprints and hair). In the case of the Florenese ebu gogo (Forth 1998, 2005) and the “nittaewo” of Sri Lanka (Nevill 1886), one has quasi-historical traditions of the creatures existing in the not-too-distant past. By contrast, few if any European wildmen were the subject of contemporary observations; as Shackley has remarked, if any wildmen were sighted during the Middle Ages, “verbatim descriptions have not survived” (1983, 27). [2]

Consistent with this apparent paucity of phenomenological evidence, the wildman of late mediaeval Europe has so far been investigated almost entirely by humanists, mostly historians and students of art or literature, who have treated the figure as mythical, or entirely imaginary. Archaeologist and cryptozoologist Myra Shackley shares this view, asserting that “until proved otherwise the European wild man … remains a creature of legend” (Shackley 1983,27). Indeed, the image has a long lineage in European literary tradition, drawing on a variety of sources, including depictions of hairy wild creatures from classical antiquity (some of them emanating from Asia, as for example in the Alexander Romance), the Bible, Greek and Roman divinities (such as Pan and the satyrs), and even contemporary reports of primates reaching Europe (Bernheimer 1952, 91-7). It is therefore difficult to disagree with a view of the European wildman as an artefact constructed from a plurality of mostly ancient images. Nevertheless, as Bernheimer (1952) has demonstrated, the wildman of late mediaeval urban and court culture finds a more direct precedent, and a more immediate source, in the lore of European rural folk. In fact, as a category existing independently of literary and artistic fashion, the wildman of folklore survived as a character of local tales and village performances until the nineteenth century and even into the twentieth century.

This older wildman has sometimes been interpreted as a religious category, a divinity of local pre-Christian religion genetically also connected with “figures in the Roman pantheon” (Bernheimer 1952,21 and 41-4). [3] Yet some image of hairy manlike beings living a rough, uncultured existence in desolate places has considerable antiquity also in more northerly and westerly parts of Europe. The image underwent a significant reconstruction in the hands of late mediaeval Christianity, when the wildman became reinterpreted as a feral man, whose condition resulted from separation from Christian civilisation and God’s grace. If the pre-Christian, or folkloristic, wildman was conceived as being much like a natural species-and possibly also a supernatural being, but in any case as a creature whose nature was determined by God-the mediaeval wildman was a degenerate, the model of a lost soul, for whom it was also possible to forsake wildness and regain the civilised, human condition. In the mediaeval view, this degeneration could result from a “loss of mind,””upbringing among wild beasts,” or “outrageous hardships” (Bernheimer 1952, 9-10). Even the wildman’s coat of hair was represented as a result of an acquired state of wildness, not a natural inheritance (ibid. 17). As this should suggest, both in mediaeval and earlier folk representations, wildmen were associated with wild places beyond areas of normal human habitation, most notably forests and mountainous regions, where they are frequently depicted as inhabiting caves. During the Middle Ages, vast stretches of forest were “alive with unfortunates,” including “lunatics, eccentric recluses, criminals, and organised maquis.” At this time, wildness and insanity were almost interchangeable terms, so that forest-dwelling social outcasts could be regarded as “a kind of wild man” (Bernheimer 1952, 12 and 16). Discernible in these circumstances is a kind of empirical support for the image in contemporary experience. The observation also suggests parallels with non-European representations. For example, a hairy hominoid recognised on the eastern Indonesian island of Sumba is named “makatoba” (“demented person”) or “makatoba omangu” (“forest madman”). In various parts of Asia, the existence of putative hominoids also draws regular support from reputed observations by local people venturing into mountains and jungles. In southern Sumatra, twentieth-century sightings by local cultivators of the orang pendek (“short person”), a short hairy bipedal hominoid, have sometimes been interpreted as reflecting encounters with food- collecting forest peoples, such as the Kubu (Brasser 1926; De Wals 1937). Others have attributed the sightings to experience of known or unknown primates, unusual encounters with ground-dwelling orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus), or an undiscovered, largely bipedal ape perhaps related to gibbons and siamangs (Rijksen and Meijaard 1999; Martyr et al. n.d.). At the same time, it is virtually certain that most footprints attributed by Sumatrans to orang pendek actually belong to the Malayan sun-bear (Helarctos malayanus; see Dammerman 1924).

In view of the evident antiquity of the mediaeval image of the wildman, however, and the variety of other sources on which it has drawn, one can hardly trace the origin of the European figure solely to insane, criminal, or eccentric denizens of mediaeval forests-or, in other words, to an aspect of contemporary society. One must further question whether European consumers of artistic and literary representations of wildmen were convinced of their local existence. As Bernheimer suggests, if wildmen had a contemporary existence it was not in Europe, but in lands far away, including, perhaps significantly, Asia (1952, ch. 4). Whether illiterate peasants, of the Middle Ages or earlier, ever reported encounters with hairy hominoids can no longer be known. Although wildmen may have survived as “the subject of credulous peasant belief” until the nineteenth century (ibid. 22), owing to a paucity of records documenting rural experience it is difficult to determine the ontological status of the wildman in rural culture, for example, as a sort of spirit or as a kind of mundane animal.

Paralleling non-western traditions identifying wildmen with specific regions, the wildman of rural European folklore has maintained a definite geographical aspect into the twentieth century. In mediaeval literature and graphic art, wildmen were depicted as quite widely distributed, inhabiting lowlands as well as highlands, including places close to human habitations. By contrast, the wildmen of folklore inhabit relatively well-defined mountainous areas. Their centre is the mountains of central Europe, especially the Alps, “the remotest and least accessible parts of Europe” (Bernheimer 1952, 23). Legendary non-European hominoids inhabit precisely the same sorts of environments. Apart from the obvious examples of the yeti and sasquatch, the orang pendek is best known from the Barisan range of southwestern Sumatra, including the area about Mount Kerinci. Similarly, hominoidal creatures from Flores, including the now extinct ebu gogo, reputedly occur, or occurred, in the remotest and least settled parts of this generally rugged and mountainous island (Forth 1998).

In terms of physical and behavioural features as well, it is particularly the wildman of European folklore-a genre that is probably “closer … to the sources of wild man mythology than much that is preserved in the more sophisticated literature and art of the Middle Ages” (Bernheimer 1952, 22)-that bears comparison with non-European wildmen. While the European figures are frequently depicted as huge, they are sometimes “conceived as possessed of moderate physical proportions,” even occurring as dwarfs (ibid. 23 and 45). Hairy hominoids from other parts of the world also display the same bimodal variation. A review of literature on the yeti, sasquatch, and wildman of China reveals that all include varieties that are respectively larger and smaller than local humans. It is of course the larger varieties of yeti and sasquatch (or “bigfoot”) that are familiar to the western public. Yet even the giant sasquatch has far smaller cousins, for example in the shape of hairy hominoids known to the Bella Coola Indians as “boqs” (Mcllwraith 1992). In addition, while the Sumatran orang pendek and the ebu gogo and similar hominoids of Flores are smaller than local humans, a larger variety of eastern Indonesian wildman is encountered on the island of Sumba (Forth 1981,111-13).

Generally, the European wildman is depicted as a naked creature covered in hair, with only the face, feet and hands (and in some cases the knees, elbows, or breasts) remaining bare (Bernheimer 1952,1 and 23). In mediaeval art, European wild folk are commonly shown with head hair much longer than body hair. This feature is also common elsewhere, although non-Europeans sometimes describe wildmen as possessing head and body hair of the same length, much like nonhuman primates. Hairy hominoids reported from Southeast Asia are sometimes described as lighter skinned than local humans, but are more often darker. “Zana,” a Caucasian female wildman reputedly captured in the nineteenth century, possessed a very dark complexion (Tchernine 1971,155-9). Mediaeval romances similarly depict the European wildman as dark-skinned, but more specifically as turned “black” in consequence of the wild state (apparently by the agency of the sun and wind; Bernheimer 1952,15). On the other hand, whether wild characters of European folklore typically possessed a dark skin, either as a natural or acquired trait, remains unclear.

While the wildman of the Middle Ages is given a generally human form, and females especially are often rendered “distinctly human, even moderately attractive” (Bernheimer 1952, 39), the facial features of folkloristic wildmen are less clearly discerned. A giant female figure from the Tyrol and Bavarian Alps named “faengge” is, however, characterised as a “colossal ogre of great strength” demonstrating “appalling ugliness.” Similarly, festival masks depicting wildmen were made “as ugly as possible” (ibid. 39 and 82). Smaller wild women of Bavaria and central and northern Germany, further distinguished from the Alpine ogresses as “modest” and “retiring,” are described as having “creased and oldish faces” (ibid. 33), while yet another female wild figure from tJiirteenth- century Germany possesses, in addition to a hunchback, a “huge black head,” a flat nose, and big teeth (ibid. 38). Arguably, these several descriptions mostly closely approach something resembling a non-human primate or an archaic hominid. Yet in the absence of further specifics, such likeness is difficult to confirm.

A physical attribute of the European wildman deserving special mention is quite specifically feminine. These are long or pendulous breasts, described by Bernheimer in a language also commonly encountered in local descriptions of Asian figures as “so long they can be thrown over her shoulders” (1952,33,38,39, 131 and 157; see also Mazur 1980, 8-9). Asian representations that incorporate prominent breasts include the yeti (Oppitz 1968), Chinese wildman (Zhou 1982, 20), wildmen of Central Asia (Tchernine 1971, 58), and the Florenese ebu gogo (Forth 1998). Some accounts of the North American sasquatch have also described the females as heavy breasted. Not surprisingly, among European exemplars the appendages appear to be associated with larger female figures rather than smaller wild women. As Bernheimer indicates, such breasts contribute to the female creature’s ugliness, a point not always clear from representations of wildmen elsewhere, but which is obviously contrary to any interpretation of large-breasted females as symbols of fertility.

Other widely attested attributes of the wildmen of European folklore include an inability to speak. The creature’s aforementioned strength is not simply extreme; it is “supernatural,” enabling them to uproot trees and conquer large animals. And combined with such power is a “savage temper” (Bernheimer 1952, 23). European wildmen are often depicted as carrying a heavy club or mace. Folklore also credits them with knowledge of medicinal plants, and of the ways of animals. Coupled with their tremendous strength, this knowledge, as well as their “sympathy” and “kinship” with wild beasts, makes the wildman a “master of animals” (ibid. 23, 24, 25 and 26). Similarly consistent with their association with raw nature (and evidently paralleling their violent tempers), wildmen rejoice when storms and thunder occur but disdain fine weather (ibid. 24 and 31-2).

European wildmen are characteristically anthropophagous, with a special liking for the flesh of children (Bernheimer 1952, 23 and 33). A similar habit is attributed to some Asian wildmen. However, in Southeast Asian instances, the notion of catching and eating infants is explicitly linked with a use of wildmen as bogeys. This may equally apply to the European representation, since parents employed stories of wildmen as “pedagogical functions to frighten obstreperous children into obedience” (ibid. 24). According to a belief found in the Italian Tyrol and Switzerland, wildmen will abduct infants and replace them with their own wild offspring (ibid. 23). The idea strongly recalls practices attributed to fairies in the British Isles (Silver 1999); it is also comparable with the reputed habit of hairy hominoids recognised in parts of Flores, on Sumba, and also in Madagascar (Decary 1950, 207). Adult women, too, can be the objects of abduction for European wildmen (Bernheimer 1952,23), as apparently can Amerindian women for the sasquatch (or at any rate, possible Amerindian prototypes of the current Euro- American figure). Conversely, European wild women are depicted as attempting to entrap, or “captivate,” human males (ibid. 34), just as counterparts on Sumba (eastern Indonesia) might occasionally try to take a human mate. However, only European wild women, like European witches, employ an ability to change shape in order to satisfy their lusts, appearing to men as a beautiful young woman but later changing back into a “libidinous hag” (ibid. 34 and 35-7). This erotic prochvity, moreover, appears to be a development peculiar to the mediaeval representation, in contrast to wild figures of European folklore. If wildmen are often depicted as capturing humans, the reverse also applies. A common theme in both mediaeval iconography and seasonal dramatic performances is the hunting and capture of a wildman, or a person impersonating such a figure (Bernheimer 1952,50-6). Similarly, European folk traditions describe the pursuit and capture of a wild woman (ibid. 27). These representations, too, reveal intriguing parallels with non-European figures. In various parts of Asia, one encounters stories, often quite specific with regard to time and place, of the capture of single specimens, with some even finding their way into local newspapers (Forth 2006, 345).

 

Differences and Similarities

In several respects, the European wildman bears an obvious resemblance to hairy hominoids reported from other parts of the world; however, so striking are some similarities that differences can too easily be overlooked. For example, owing to an absence of detail in folkloristic representations, it is difficult to say whether the European wildman corresponds to any of the Asian exemplars in terms of morphologically primitive features (particularly of the face, feet, and limbs). As regards the pendulous breasts (a feature that is not at all primitive), the wildman of Europe resembles a number of non-European figures quite precisely. But the feature’s distribution is actually discontinuous. In Southeast Asia, the breasts are mentioned only for some wildmen of Flores and Sumba (neighbouring islands of eastern Indonesia) and are absent from African, Oceanic, and Australian representations. Also, the breasts are not always reported for the sasquatch or the yeti, in the second instance featuring more in folktales than mundane descriptions of the creatures (Oppitz 1968).

Other resemblances require similar qualification. The European idea that wildmen will attempt to abduct humans for sexual or marital purposes recalls Sherpa tales about yeti (Oppitz 1968), the “umang” of northern Sumatra (Steedly 1993), and the Sumbanese wildman (under the name of “meu rumba”; Wielenga 1913,264). Yet it is not prominent in other non-western representations. [4] In fact, while certain aspects of the mediaeval wild figure reveal distinctly erotic overtones (to which Bernheimer devotes an entire chapter), most Asian and African images appear to lack these altogether, as do modern accounts of the North American sasquatch. Similarly, while the European wildman is anthropophagous, the characteristic of man- eating is attributed only to the “almas” of Mongolia (Tchernine 1971, 58), the yeti (Oppitz 1968, 140), and some eastern Indonesian figures (Forth 1981, 111; 1998,103). In these Asian cases, moreover, the attribution is irregular or confined to folktales, and is often contradicted in mundane accounts of the same categories. Eastern Indonesians thus qualify the idea that wildmen eat people as a fiction linked with their present deployment as bogeys. The indigenous North American figure called “zonokwa” is described as capturing and consuming human children; yet the sasquatch, a mostly Euro-American derivative of zonokwa and other native figures, is not. The nittaewo, reputedly extinct hairy hominoids of Sri Lanka, also did not eat humans, even though they were given to killing them (Nevill 1886).

The mediaeval theme of hunting and capturing wild folk may find an echo in the reputed capture of hairy hominoids elsewhere, for example in Central Asia (Tchernine 1971, 43) and the Caucasus. Nevertheless, Asian stories of wildman capture mostly concern single incidents involving specimens incidentally encountered, or accidentally caught in traps set for other animals. Exemplified by legends from Flores and Sri Lanka, and Himilayan tales featuring yeti, other non-European traditions incorporate the theme of exterminating wildmen entirely or in large numbers. But, while mock killing may be included in dramatic performances, extermination forms no obvious part of the European representation.

Other resemblances between European and non-European wildmen are either more specific or less widespread. For example, like apparent counterparts in the Himalayas, Central Asia, China, and possibly eastern Indonesia, European wildmen evidently have a liking for alcoholic beverages, and so can be captured by first being made drunk (Bernheimer 1952,25). Yet the European figure differs in more general ways from otherwise comparable Asian figures. Whereas the mediaeval image concerns a human being made wild by separation from civilisation, interpretations of wildmen as feral humans are elsewhere uncommon. Also, while the European figure lacks speech, some Asian exemplars are credited with linguistic ability (see, for example, Colarusso 1980; Forth 1981), albeit of a rudimentary or imperfect kind. Being less naturaUstically represented, wildmen of both European folklore and late mediaeval culture possess a greater number of fantastic, or seemingly “spiritual,” attributes than do most Asian counterparts. Their strength is unearthly and, like spirits everywhere, they are able to change shape. Paralleling the European wildman’s power over animals are Sumatran and central African beliefs according to which local hominoids herd wild pigs (Westenenk 1932; Heuvelmans 1980). Nevertheless, in this respect the European figure is equally reminiscent of Indonesian nature spirits, like the “nitu” of Flores, represented as the owners of wild animals (Forth 1998). The European wildman’s violent temper signals another difference from both the hairy hominoids of Asia and the sasquatch of North America, mostly described as shy, reclusive, and unaggressive.

One respect in which European wild folk appear less fantastically conceived than non-European figures concerns the inverted feet attributed to the Sumatran orang pendek, the Malagasy “kalanoro” (Decary 1950,207) and, according to one account, the Australian “yahoo” or “yowie” (Groves 1988, 124), but not to European counterparts. Such inversion, however, is by no means exclusive to wildman images, being associated with a broad class of spirits (including witches) the world over. In some instances where such feet are attributed to wildmen, the attribution may moreover have an empirical basis in footprints of animal or human origin. For example, primatologists have linked the supposedly inverted feet of the orang pendek with tracks of orang-utans (Rijksen and Meijaard 1999, 62-3) or sun-bears (MacKinnon 1974,114-15).

On the whole, then, European and non-European wildmen differ considerably. Contrary to expectation, the European figure reveals no greater resemblance to hominoids of the Caucasus and Central Asia than it does to wildmen elsewhere in Asia or on other continents, even though the former occurred as a character in village festivities in proximate parts of eastern Europe and Turkey at least until the mid-twentieth century (Bernheimer 1952, 73-4). This discontinuity seems consistent with the absence of reported sightings of wildmen in Europe (at least for hundreds of years) as compared with the continuity of claimed sightings of Caucasian hominoids well into the twentieth century. It might even be thought to point to a real difference in the experiential bases of the two representations, such that only the Caucasian figure is grounded in recent experience of some zoological reality. Otherwise, what might account for the difference is unclear.

While European and non-European wildmen are comparable in general outline, the dissimilarities, both substantive and circumstantial, counter attempts to reduce indigenous non-European categories to an artefact of colonialist or other western ideology (for example, orang pendek according to Gouda 1995; or the yeti according to Dudley and Novak 1972). The wildman might be deemed an archetype; yet its expression from place to place varies considerably. The core image comprises a generally human physical form combined with a hairy body and lack of clothing or other material technology, but particular instances incorporate other, rather more variable features. By the same token, the archetype can be called “synthetic” (Needham 1978). Whatever other elements may locally accrete to it, the core image is certainly widespread, and universal in regard to its occurrence in many very different and historically unrelated cultures. As a figure to which human thought naturally tends but does not invariably or continuously represent, the image of the wildman is likely to be triggered by a range of empirical experiences, some of which will correspond closely to the archetype (perhaps an unfamiliar ape, for example) or will correspond to this partly or minimally (for example, a bear or even a physically indistinguishable member of a disparaged ethnic group). There can be little doubt that a hypothetical encounter with an Australopithecine or Homo erectus, say, would (unless the observer was educated in paleoanthropology) evoke a representation identifiable as an instance of the wildman image. The representation would not need to be a completely accurate description; it could even be fantastically elaborated in one or more particulars and still remain fundamentally true to the universal image. The Metamorphosis of the European Wildman

As should by now be clear, speaking of the wildman in the singular, whether with reference to European or non-European images, is mostly an expository convenience. If the mediaeval figure represents a transformation of a preChristian folk image, since the Middle Ages the concept has undergone further metamorphoses. Following a common interpretation, the literary and artistic figure was appropriated by an emerging scientific cosmology, reappearing as the “caveman”-and eventually (and more exactly) as “prehistoric man”- and also as contemporary “primitive man.” The first stage in this hypothetical “naturalisation,” as it may be called, was a Renaissance revision of the wildman as an extinct creature identifiable with past populations, and more specifically with the aboriginal inhabitants of various European countries (Bernheimer 1952, 120). Not much later, “wild men” were discovered outside of Europe, including the New World, when an equation of non-European “savages” with the European figure resulted in misattribution of certain physical traits to the former. Thereafter, the wildman achieved another partial reincarnation as a contemporary natural species in Linnaeus’s classification of 1735, where “homo ferus” is listed as a subdivision of Homo sapiens (Hodgen 1964: 424-5). About the same time, the figure came to be identified, or conflated, with anthropoid apes.

In 1884, employees of the Canadian Pacific Railway working near the town of Yale in southwestern British Columbia encountered, and subsequently captured, a hairy humanlike creature with a height of 1.4 metres. According to the newspaper report, their captive resembled a gorilla. Dubbed “Jacko,” an epithet ultimately derived from a West African name for the chimpanzee, the evidently ape-like creature’s actual identity remains a mystery to the present day. Initially, the railwaymen thought the hirsute creature might be a “demented Indian” (The Daily Colonist, Victoria, B.C., 4 July 1884). Although proposed in the late nineteenth century, this hypothetical identification, rejected after the specimen was inspected at close range, reflects a far older attribution to North American Indians of hairy bodies, as well as practices of eating raw meat and cannibalism (Dickason 1980). (Interestingly enough, it was recommended that Jacko not be fed “raw meats” lest these make him “savage.”) An even more recent echo of this representation is discernible in the twentieth-century designation of large, hairy bipedal creatures reputedly encountered in the interior of the large eastern Canadian island of Newfoundland, as “wild Indians” (Taft 1980). Jacko subsequently became incorporated into sasquatch lore, as a supposedly young specimen of this category. In fact, he is the one instance interpreted as a real animal by bigfoot debunker David Daegling (2004), although Daegling dismisses the creature, somewhat disingenuously, as an escaped chimpanzee.

As pernicious as the identification of American natives with hairy wildmen may have been, the late mediaeval humanisation of the pre-Christian wildman as a feral man nevertheless capable of civilisation and redemption had a more beneficial effect. Not only did it facilitate a view of Amerindians as similarly human, but it paved the way for their alternate representation as “noble savages,” free of the ills of civilised society (compare White 1978,168 and 183ff). A positive evaluation of wild folk, however, involving as its converse a critique of civilisation, has a long history in Europe, going back to the Greeks and Romans (Bernheimer 1952, 102- 4). It therefore does not reflect a specifically mediaeval development. At the same time, the critical attitude towards human society arguably reflects an individualistic and even anti-social impulse that would barely be intelligible to many non-Europeans. Accordingly, while the wildman of Europe might in certain respects be construed as a symbolic expression of a facet of western individualism, the construction can scarcely apply to comparable hairy figures in other parts of the world, and least of all to ones recognised by villagers in places like Nepal, rural China, southern Sumatra, or eastern Indonesia.

Not just in North America, but also in Australia and Africa, expanding Europeans construed non-western peoples they encountered as wild, sometimes explicitly designating them for example as “wild tribes.” They also described them as hairy. Australian aborigines and Central African pygmies may, inadvertently, have lent some credence to this evaluation by being noticeably hirsute, even by European standards (Birdsell 1993)-in contrast to the typically glabrous Amerindians. Smith (1989) has made a good case for the yahoo, a hairy hominoid reputedly encountered by rural Euro- Australians in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as a partial reflection of relatively hirsute Australian aborigines (Smith 1989). In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, thus about the same time as Europeans were constructing an image of non- western peoples as “wild” humans, they also began acquiring more direct familiarity with anthropoid apes-animals they initially perceived as wild creatures with exaggerated human qualities. The ironic result was that apes were effectively humanised in a similar degree to that in which non-western peoples were de-humanised. The extent of primate humanisation can be judged by a series of eighteenth-century illustrations reproduced in Yerkes and Yerkes (1929,18-23) that show anthropoid apes holding staves or clubs, a technology earlier attributed to the wildman and later to the “caveman.” In fact, this graphic provision of wooden accessories to the animals continued until well into the nineteenth century-see the illustration of a male orang-utan from Mivart (1873), reproduced as Figures 1-6 in Maple 1980-just as a perception of some non- westerners as “ape-like” continued into the twentieth century (see for example, Johnston 1902). [5]

As a further irony, it may be recalled how ancient literary images-found for example in the accounts of Pliny, Hanno and Agatharchides, and interpreted as precedents of the mediaeval wildman-were themselves likely based on apes (Bernheimer 1952, 87- 8). [6] Just as probable, however, other images reflected “primitive” humans, such as African pygmies. For his part, Edward Tyson, in his monograph on the dissection of a “pygmie”-the name he applied to a chimpanzee-endeavoured to prove that the “pygmies” of classical antiquity (like the satyrs, cynocepheli, and other fabulous entities) were themselves derived from ancient experience of primates (Tyson 1699). Buffon, on the other hand, thought the existence of pygmies was “founded in error or in fable,” and that people of diminutive stature were found “only by accident, among men of the ordinary size” (1870,147). He was of course proved quite wrong by the European discovery of African pygmies in the nineteenth century. [7]

If the European wildman does not explicitly appear in Tyson’s treatise, this is because, by the end of the seventeenth century, the figure had all but disappeared from literary and popular discourse. Nevertheless, Tyson’s “pygmie” (a chimpanzee) was depicted as standing erect and supported by a stick. Recently, such representations have been construed as indicative of continuity in European wildman imagery, and as a “projection” of the mediaeval figure onto non-western peoples and non-human primates (Stoczkowski 2002, 81). However, advancing knowledge of apes-initially conceived as kinds of humans, albeit wild onesrevised previous conceptions of the wildman beyond recognition. Culminating in a late-eighteenth century perception of apes and humans as radically different kinds of beings (Wahrman 2004, 130-53), increasing European familiarity with primates from the sixteenth century to the present sealed the fate of the late mediaeval figure once and for all. Recent reappraisals of the intellectual and technological abilities of apes, resulting in a view of chimpanzees, especially, as bearers of culture, and even as a variety of human being (Cavalieri and Singer 1993; McGrew 2004), might seem to challenge this conclusion. [8] For in regard to the hairiness and great physical strength of these new- found “humans,” this recent, implicitly postmodern, understanding brings some great apes very much closer to both European and non- European conceptions of the wildman. Yet, as a reasonable inference from the latest scientific evidence, interpreting such views as a survival, or revival, of the older figure of European folklore and late mediaeval culture would be quite unwarranted.

A less equivocal persistence of wildman imagery may be discernible in modern paleoanthropology. Stoczowski (2002, 78-82) traces several features of the “caveman,” the earliest modern conception of prehistoric hominids, directly to the European image. One feature, of course, is the cave itself; that is, the view of ancient humans-like the stereotypical wildman-inhabiting caves. Another is the club, an implement that, as just shown, was also credited to seemingly bipedal apes; recently, the implement has turned up in the ubiquitous illustration depicting the newly minted chrono-species, Homo floresiensis (created in 2004 by Peter Schouten) as a male equipped with what appears to be a cudgel or club. The hairy body might be another feature the caveman owes to the wildman. Yet, one can reasonably infer hairiness from the evolutionary fact that ancient hominids were closer to apes, which are incontrovertibly hairy. And further qualification is required in regard to nineteenth-century romantic views of ancient cave- dwelling humans as glabrous and generally resembling fair-skinned and fully modern Europeans (Leakey and Slikkerveer 1993, 113; and see also 119, which shows Emile Bayard’s 1870 painting “Primitive man”). Not only in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, but in classical antiquity as well, extinct peoples of the distant past were conceived as hairy humans lacking in civilisation (Bernheimer 1952, 85-6). So too were “fabulous races” inhabiting faraway lands and, closer to home, certain spiritual beings or divinities. Evidently, then, this is another idea with a long western lineage. Yet modern views of human prehistory are fundamentally different from these earlier representations, particularly as they include beings that are not fully human (namely, pre-sapiens hominids) and, more importantly, because of their grounding in a theory of evolution. In both respects, it is worth recalling that the mediaeval wildman, for all his deficiencies, was still a man, who, although combining human and animal traits, never sank “to the level of an ape” (Bernheimer 1952,1). As Bernheimer has argued, owing to the absence of an evolutionary framework, this figure could not really be conceived as a “missing link.” Christian belief in the “unique metaphysical dignity of man,””the purity of all created species,” and the Great Chain of Being (ibid. 7) also excluded any modern conception of zoologically transitional forms.

These points obviously challenge Stoczkowski’s characterisation of the mediaeval wildman as a “missing link” (2002, 81). By the same token, they qualify his suggestion that the intermediate character of the wildman facilitated the “projection” of this image onto prehistoric man and contemporary “primitives.” Precisely because the mediaeval figure was ambiguous in relation to prevailing definitions of humanity and animality, the wildman was an object of ambivalence in mediaeval thought (see Bernheimer 1952, 5-6 and 7). In this respect, the figure differed, for example, from the current representation of Homo erectus, a species that is decidedly not ambiguous in the context of modern palaeoanthropological theory. [9] In fairness to Stoczkowski, it should be noted that his critique of palaeoanthropological research, as overly influenced by non- scientific and often ancient ideas concerning early humans, focuses primarily on causes and processes-for example, of the evolution of bipedalism and tool manufacture. Certainly, he does not deny palaeontological evidence for primitive cranial and skeletal morphology. Nevertheless, the extent to which the physical image of the European wildman continues to be reflected in scientific discourse on ancient hominids, if not negligible, is far less than this author seems to suggest.

Confirming the completeness of the wildman’s modern transformation into something like a natural species are reactions to the discovery of Neanderthal man in 1856. Had the Neanderthal remains been unearthed five hundred years earlier, say, they might have been attributed to a wildman. Yet, for contemporary interpreters, including the anthropologist Rudolf Virchow, they were the relicts of a pathological modern individual, a rickety saddle- weary Mongolian Cossack who had died pursuing Napoleon’s army in 1814 (Trinkhaus and Shipman 1993, 58-9). [10] It is true that Schaafhausen and Fuhlrott, who described the original skeleton in 1857, speculated that the remains may have belonged to “one of the wild races of North-western Europe, spoken of by Latin writers,” or to autochthones who preceded German immigrants (ibid. 50); but these categories are at best historical derivatives of the wildman of the Middle Ages, and not the mediaeval figure itself that, in a sense, was contemporaneous with its mediaeval propagators. In a purely hypothetical scenario, if modern Germans were somehow to encounter a Neanderthal, it is unlikely, to say the least, that they would associate it with the earlier figure of the wildman. In all probability, our hypothetical observers would identify it as a “caveman” or, indeed, a “Neanderthal man.”

 

The Wildman and Cryptozoology

The last speculation nicely introduces another field of modern enquiry, the marginal science of cryptozoology. As an enterprise closely bound up with a largely popular belief in crypto-species, including ones consumable as “ape-men,” cryptozoology might appear a more promising arena for the persistence of European wildman imagery. But in this case too, the influence has been neither simple nor direct. For one thing, the majority of hominoids investigated by cryptozoologists are ultimately folk categories maintained, as we have seen, by non-European peoples. To be sure, the North American sasquatch and Australian yahoo have reputedly been observed by Europeans, and mostly it would seem by people of British rather than continental European extraction. But it is to say the least unlikely that many of these are familiar with the wildmen of European folklore or of mediaeval literature and iconography. Nor, typically, do such people possess a scientific background. Although many probably subscribe to popular versions of scientific ideas, such as “humans evolving from apes” and “missing links,” there is also the question of how far these vernacular notions might affect the perception of people who claim actually to have seen a sasquatch. Obviously, exposure to the ideas cannot by itself produce experiences of encountering a creature. Hence some authors have sought further explanation in disorientation in lonely places or, in regard to nineteenth-century reports, exposure to novel environments (Halpin 1980a, 18-20), sometimes combined with misinterpreted encounters with temporarily upstanding animals (such as bears).

Whatever one thinks of these explanations, none relies decisively on the European wildman. Rather, a more probable source of the modern New World and antipodean images is vulgarisations of palaeoanthropology and evolutionary theory. One source of the sasquatch-the Euro-American representation that mostly developed during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries-may have been popularised knowledge and images, including photographs and other graphic depictions, of great apes. Especially during the twentieth century, however, an equally likely source has been images, appearing in school textbooks and other print media, of ancient hominids. It is conceivable that western visual images of apes have also affected non-western conceptions of wildmen (for example, local depictions of the yeti or the Sumatran orang pendek); local people, it should be recalled, mostly describe these as more simian than the European figure (see Halpin 1980b, 212). However, palaeoanthropological images are much less likely to have informed Asian and African categories of wildmen. Only in the past few decades have such images become available, in any medium, to nonEuropeans, and then far less to the rural exponents of local hominoidal images than to urban people.

It is not only archaic hominids that cryptozoologists have proposed as the referents of unidentified hominoids reported by non- western peoples. As noted, primatologists-who in this context have been de facto cryptozoologists-have interpreted the Sumatran orang pendek as a non-human primate, known or unknown. The yeti, too, has been interpreted as reflecting an orang-utan or an unknown species of large ape. Other writers have explained putative wildmen as misidentifications of culturally or phenotypically distinctive modern humans; for example, the forest-dwelling Kubu in the case of the orang pendek, and Australian aboriginals in the case of the yahoo. Nevertheless, cryptozoological interpretations of such figures focus more commonly on supposedly extinct hominids. Primate biologists John Napier (1972) and W. C. Osman Hill (1945) have thus proposed Gigantopithecus and Homo erectus, respectively, as empirical referents for the sasquatch and Sri Lankan nittaewo, and Vernon Reynolds (1967,102) suspects the yeti may be Gigantopithecus. Similarly, cryptozoologist Heuvelmans (1980, 1995) construes a series of mysterious African hominoids mostly as reflections of surviving Australopithecines. He takes other African exemplars to be Neanderthals, an interpretation that Shackley (1983) proposes for Central Asian wildmen.

Clearly, then, palaeoanthropology is the most usual source of cryptozoological theorising in respect of putative hominoids, just as it is one probable source of partly European constructions like the sasquatch. In as much as primatology and ethnology have played a supplementary part, this is only because their subjects, at least in the earliest development of these disciplines, have been represented similarly to palaeoanthropological ones. If the European wildman has inspired modern interpretations of wildmen encountered outside of Europe-in North America, Australia, or even in Sumatra (in the case of Dutch colonial reports of the orang pendek)-its influence has been indirect. In the first place, the mediaeval figure informed pre- palaeontological representations of ancient peoples (including the “caveman”). These in turn have left traces-although perhaps not so many as some authors have supposed-in more recent theories concerning the evolution of the Hominidae. And, finally, these theories, with their attendant graphic reconstructions, have facilitated cryptozoological interpretations of various putative hairy hominoids as relict populations of pre-sapiens Homo, Australopithecines, or Gigantopithecus. This complex relationship clearly contradicts a simpler view, exemplified by a characterisation of the “abominable snowman” as a creature of “modern journalism” and a “debased survival” of the wildman of early European literature transformed by the writings of philosophers and early scientific writers (including Linnaeus) into a natural, but equally imaginary category (Dudley and Novak 1972, x). This view not only overlooks the role of evolutionary theory and palaeontology in more serious forms of cryptozoology (among whose practitioners may be counted established scientists like Hill and Napier). It also betrays ignorance of the fact that figures like the Himalayan yeti- the aforementioned “snowman”-are ultimately not European creations, but the categories of non-western peoples. Some of these categories, moreover, are less reminiscent of the wildman of the Middle Ages than they are of the hominids of palaeoanthropology. To be sure, the modern sasquatch is largely the product of a European-derived culture, as possibly to an even greater extent is the Australian yahoo; accordingly, traces of the European wildman are discernible in both figures. Yet the sasquatch is partly rooted in Amerindian representations of hairy hominoids, even though the relationship between these, which are often described as small, and the giant sasquatch of the popular Canadian and American imagination is hardly straightforward (Suttles 1972).

 

Conclusion

Virtually all scientific concepts are partly derivative of non- scientific ideas. Representing modern crypto-species, or for that matter the categories of palaeoanthropology, as a simple survival of the European wildman obscures both the radical transformation of the mediaeval figure and the emergence of approaches that, engaging with evolutionary biology and other scientific disciplines, provide evidence against the existence of crypto-species, as well as evidence in support. The view also overlooks the fact that most wildman images are non-European. For this reason, it will undoubtedly require the efforts of folk zoologists and cultural anthropologists to explain the often quite remarkable resemblances found among non-western representations of hairy hominoids. These resemblances obviously count against an interpretation of the images as by-products of values or institutions of particular cultures and social systems. So too might the close correspondence between claimed European sightings of the Sumatran orang pendek (Van Herwaarden 1924; Westenenk 1932) and pre-existing native images and putative experience. The sociological interpretation, which derives images of all sorts from social interests, institutions, and relationships, probably represents the view of most anthropologists. Yet, in so far as anthropologists have addressed the question of wildman figures at all, this dominant position, which tends to identify wildmen from the outset as “spiritual beings,” has typically been assumed rather than advanced or defended. Accordingly, precious little attempt has been made to show how exactly particular hominoidal images are formed or the sorts of purposes they might serve in non-western societies. This is not to say that such essentially functionalist interpretations have no validity, only that they remain undeveloped.

A concomitant suggestion, that hominoids everywhere are as fantastical (or, perhaps, “spiritual”) as the mediaeval wildman, also takes no account of the revelation that hominids very similar to modern humans, yet morphologically and behaviourally distinct from Homo sapiens, have certainly existed, and-as in the case of Neanderthals-have at times been contemporaneous with our own species. In this respect, one could even argue that modern science attests to the reality of wildmen, although it has for the most part situated them in a distant past. To return to my point of departure, one significance of Homo floresiensis is the way its interpretation as a new chrono-species has, as it were, made this past appear much less distant. Indeed, some have gone so far as to construe the subfossil remains so labelled as the first real evidence for the grounding of a wildman image, one maintained by the indigenous people of Flores, in human experience of a contemporary non-sapiens hominid (see, for example, Gee 2004). But while this can be deemed a possibility, how probable it is, and what alternative explanations might be ranged against it, are much larger issues that must await separate treatment elsewhere. [11]

 

Acknowledgements

Fieldwork concerning eastern Indonesian wildman images has formed part of more general ethnographic investigations conducted by the author between 1984 and 2005 and sponsored by the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) and Nusa Cendana and Artha Wacana Universities in Kupang. Library research was facilitated by a McCalla Research Professorship (2004-5) awarded by the University of Alberta and a sabbatical appointment (2005-6) as Senior Fellow at the International Institute of Asian Studies in Leiden, The Netherlands. Funding has been provided from grants awarded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the British Academy. The author is grateful to all of these bodies for their considerable support and assistance. Some of the ideas presented here were explored in a paper delivered in October 2005 at the University of Kent at Canterbury where the author was British Academy Visiting Professor in the Department of Anthropology, and in a “Masterclass” conference entitled “Images of the Wildman in Southeast Asia,” which the author convened at the International Institute of Asian Studies in February 2006.

 

Notes

[1] In zoological usage, “hominoid” denotes a super-family that includes humans and apes (chimpanzees, gorillas, orang-utans, and gibbons). In this paper, I use “hominoid” to refer to putative humanlike creatures not currently recognised by modern science, thus essentially as a synonym of “wildman.””Hominid,” by contrast, denotes recognised species of the genera Homo, Australopithecus, and Paranthropus. In a recently proposed taxonomy, it further includes the great apes (chimpanzees, gorillas, and orang-utans), Homo, then, being more exclusively assigned to the “hominini” (or “hominins”). In regard to Homo floresiensis, the type skeleton-the only individual for which complete cranial evidence exists-has been interpreted by, among others, the Indonesian palaeoanthropologist Teuku Jacob Jacob et al. 2006), as the remains of a microcephalic modern human. Published between 2005 and 2007, other analyses of the remains, comprising as many as nine individuals, appear to support the interpretation of a new species. However, as is common in palaeoanthropology, it will probably be a long time before the matter is fully resolved.

[2] Possibly qualifying this assessment are literary accounts seemingly describing particular encounters in northern Europe mostly in later centuries. Citing Pierre Boaistuau (Histories of Wonderfull Secrets in Nature. Translated from the French by Edward Fenton. London: Henry Bynneman [printer], 1569, 110 and 111), Jeffrey refers to two reports dating to 1409 and 1531, respectively, of the sighting and in one case the killing and capture of wildmen in Norway and Saxony (1980,60-2). Other than a human face, however, these accounts include few details of the creatures concerned; and in one case where a hirsute body is indicated, the creature is further described as possessing a tail and reptilian or birdlike feet.

[3] A connection with Roman divinities is suggested by names for wildmen in European languages. Referring more specifically to a wild woman, one name is “fangge” or “faengge,” which Bernheimer (1952, 41- 4) associates with the Latin “faunus” (compare the Greek “Pan”).

[4] The hairy hominoids called “boqs” by the Bella Coola Indians of British Columbia are supposed to have long penises; these they employ to engage unsuspecting women at a distance (Mcllwraith 1992, 60-3), a mythological theme encountered the world over. With regard to the Chinese wildman, the possibility of mating with humans is implicit in the notion that deformed infants, called “monkey babies,” result from the rape of a human female by a male wildman (Poirier and Greenwall 1992, 72).

[5] According to a complementary interpretation, depicting apes holding on to lengths of wood reflects an eighteenth-century view of these creatures as bipedal, but imperfectly so; hence the wooden implements shown in the illustrations may be understood simply as props (Spencer 1995, 15 and 17). At the same time, recent studies of what has been called “chimpanzee culture” have documented the extent to which chimpanzees do indeed employ lengths of wood as tools (see McGrew 2004, 111-14).

[6] As Janson has shown, in late mediaeval iconography wildmen were sometimes opposed to “apes,” as when the latter, depicted as chivalrous knights, were shown rescuing a human damsel abducted by the wild figure. These “apes,” however, were not anthropoid apes, but monkeys (the tails make this clear), creatures far more familiar to Europeans, as captive animals, since classical antiquity. Underscoring the contrast, Janson suggests that an anthropoid ape finding its way into mediaeval Europe might have been construed in several ways, one of which is “a wild man covered with hair” (1952, 261-2, 332 and 349 note 25).

[7] Somewhat paralleling what I have called the “naturalisation” of the European wildman, the nineteenth-century discovery of pygmies gave rise to interpretations of European fairies as empirical beings descended from small humans comparable to the diminutive Africans (Silver 1999). [8] Geneticists Watson, Eastall and Penny (2001) have proposed that chimpanzees and gorillas be placed in the same genus as humans.

[9] The palaeoanthropological comparison may require qualification. Homo erectus could be considered “ambiguous” in regard to the contrast of “human” and “animal,” or the question of whether members of this species were “fully human.” But these questions are ultimately philosophical, not palaeoanthropological. Taxonomically, erectus is securely assigned to both the genus Homo and to a species other than sapiens. As the distinction illustrates, “human” is not a fully scientific category

[10] It is interesting how this opinion parallels Teuku Jacob’s counter-interpretation of the type specimen of Homo floresiensis as a microcephalic modern human (see note [1]). Jacob, however, appears no longer to contest the date for this individual of eighteen thousand years before present, proposed by the discovery team (Jacob et al. 2006).

[11] Possible connections between the Flores hominid and local representations like the ebu gogo form the point of departure for a book project I am currently completing which comprises a comparative study of Southeast Asian wildman categories.

Source: http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1195650/images_of_the_wildman_inside_and_outside_europe/

 

 


 

National Geographic American Paranormal – Bigfoot


This documentary contains an excellent explanation on the Patterson-Gimlin footage of Bigfoot dubbed Patty. It goes through scientific methods to prove the image on the film is authentic. Please watch and be convinced finally. I’ve always believed the footage was genuine. Mr. Gimlin in all the interviews I’ve watched seemed very genuine and suffered tremendously as a result of the footage.

 

For more interesting information:

 

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The humble student and devoted Personal Assistant to H.E. Tsem Rinpoche, Seng Piow considers himself extremely fortunate to live a life witnessing all the things a Bodhisattva does for mankind which the world does not see.

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5 Responses to Images of the Wildman Inside and Outside Europe

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  1. Pastor Adeline on Nov 28, 2018 at 8:30 am

    Curious about the legendary Yeti? Not sure what to believe? Here is an article that explores a range of sources, from folktales to newspaper reports, detailing sightings and encounters with the elusive creature, who has been a part of the very fabric of various Himalayan communities for thousands of years. Read about religious beliefs, myths, fables and stories by scholars and travellers alike, and realise that there is more to the Yeti than you previously thought.

    Imagining-the-Wild-Man-Yeti-Sightings-in-Folktales-and-Newspapers.pdf

  2. Samfoonheei on Jul 31, 2018 at 10:49 am

    Interesting …..something new to me I have not heard or read of any European wildman before. The European Wildman is said to be the traditions of hairy bipedal animals . Whether it is inside or outside of Europe, is all depend on how people thinks , see and describe in a way. Still plenty to learn and understand about this Wildman.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Loh for this sharing.

  3. Pastor Shin Tan on Jul 30, 2018 at 8:39 am

    This is a real awesome documentary on bigfoot. One of the best – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cp5eV9nIEjk&feature=youtu.be

  4. Beatrix Ooi on Mar 10, 2018 at 5:03 pm

    In 1967, Bob Gimlin and Roger Patterson stumbled across an incredible sight whilst out in Bluff Creek, in the California wilderness. At a creek which had been freshly washed-out by recent floods, they witnessed a female Bigfoot swiftly traverse the rugged landscape. Since their filmed encounter with the Bigfoot, who has since been nicknamed Patty, many have disputed the authenticity of their recording but no one has been able to successfully prove that it is a fake.

    Credits for this video goes to entirely to windvale for the original footage. 👍

  5. Sean Wang on Sep 22, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    Wow! The wildman seems interesting. I think I will look into him further as the vocabulary is rather heavy by the writer. Thank you for sharing this wonderful article, Rinpoche.

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  • S.Prathap
    Wednesday, Sep 18. 2019 04:31 PM
    Thank you for this article detailed information about the places of Wu Tai Shan. Really a good and wonderful place to visit for pilgrimage.This place should be one of the most interesting holy place to visit.
    Wu Tai Shan is believed to be the earthly abode of Manjushri the Buddha of wisdom.The pictures of the temple which shared in this article are magnificent and the scenic view is stunning too.

    Read more : https://bit.ly/2Wpz1UJ
  • nicholas
    Wednesday, Sep 18. 2019 03:18 PM
    The act of making offerings to the Sangha is a fantastic way for us to collect merits and a great way to practice generosity, as taught by the Lord Buddha himself. On a personal level, I intend to practice the art of giving until my last breath; I also wish very much to live the life of a simple monk, meditating in a cave in the forest, with as few possessions as possible. Thus, I try to give most of what I receive away, and keep as little as possible for myself.

    So… when my students visited the monasteries in India at the end of 2014, I grabbed the opportunity to make some offerings to the monks there; some of them were friends that I’ve known for a long time but have not met for decades. I miss all of them very much and I am so happy that my students arranged to meet them and make the offerings on my behalf.

    Read more about making offerings at http://bit.ly/2lV3Cbe
  • nicholas
    Wednesday, Sep 18. 2019 03:00 PM
    All that being said, I am very, very happy to be able to bring you these images of Dorje Shugden from all the different traditions. If the Gelug, Nyingma, Sakya and Kagyu great masters and practitioners of the past saw huge benefits in relying on Dorje Shugden, so much so that they included him in such a wide range of paintings and images, it stands to reason that practitioners of today will also benefit from relying on Dorje Shugden too. Because it is not one, two or even five paintings that we are looking at, but over 40! And my guess is, there are many, many more that exist out there in the world that we just don’t know about yet.

    In reality, whatever we want to pray to or rely on is entirely our personal choice and a private matter, and no one should be able to tell us what we can and cannot pray to. Certainly no one has the right to impose sanctions upon us for the spiritual choices that we make. So putting current politics and issues aside, I hope that you will also be able to appreciate the artistic merit and talent that stands behind Tibetan art which is spiritual, ancient and beautiful, and done with purpose and meaning. Please download these beautiful ancient paintings for your shrine or to share with others.

    Tsem Rinpoche

    Read more at http://bit.ly/2kFI7es
  • nicholas
    Wednesday, Sep 18. 2019 02:43 PM
    Duldzin Drakpa Gyaltsen is perhaps one of the more notable previous lives of Dorje Shugden. In this incarnation, he is said to have made the promise to arise as a Dharma Protector to protect the precious teachings of his teacher Lama Tsongkhapa, thus laying the foundation for Dorje Shugden to manifest later, in another incarnation.

    Duldzin, which is an abbreviation of Dulwa Zinpa, literally means “Vinaya Holder” in Tibetan. This is actually a title bestowed upon him in recognition of his pure monkhood and incredible knowledge and understanding of the Vinaya texts — scriptures that contain teachings by Lord Buddha on monastic discipline.

    Read more about Duldzin Drakpa Gyaltsen at http://bit.ly/2lUdNwQ
  • nicholas
    Wednesday, Sep 18. 2019 02:36 PM
    Prayer wheels, a common part of Tibetan Buddhist paraphernalia, are often underrated by those new to Buddhism. Tibetans, however, believe that spinning prayer wheels (the bigger the better) is a powerful way of generating tremendous amounts of merit necessary for spiritual awakening and that installing prayer wheels in a place is an immensely effective way to transform the environment.

    Read more about prayer wheel at http://bit.ly/2kFxw3b
  • nicholas
    Wednesday, Sep 18. 2019 02:25 PM
    In order for KFR to truly become a place of healing, His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche has conceived a number of ideas including the newly-opened Medicine Buddha Healing Fountain. Embedded within the fountain are semi-precious stones that were especially consecrated by Dorje Shugden while in trance of the Panglung Oracle; His Holiness Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche, widely accepted to be a living emanation of Vajrayogini; our own Tsem Rinpoche and His Eminence Gangchen Rinpoche, an emanation of Medicine Buddha himself. When the water runs over these stones, it becomes charged with the healing properties of the stones and imbued with its blessings.

    Bottles are provided for people to collect the water for their personal use. Some suggested uses for the consecrated water include:

    Consumption by the sick to heal the body and clear the mind of negative emotions
    Consumption by the dying to clear the mind in preparation for the final journey
    Giving to heal stray animals and pets
    Giving to dying or deceased animals in order to implant blessings and Dharma imprints to surface in future lives
    Sprinkling on new Buddha statues and shrines as an act of consecration

    Read more at http://bit.ly/2mo2ltB
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Sep 18. 2019 12:28 PM
    The Great Buddha of Kamakura is one of the most iconic landmarks in Japan. The Great Buddha of Kamakura is a monumental outdoor bronze statue , that’s attracted many thousands of tourists and locals yearly. Been the second largest bronze Buddha statue in Japan. Wow it seem that the Great Buddha of Kamakura has a long and illustrious history, reflected in its architectural legacy, especially its numerous shrines and temples. Truly amazing having gone through many disaster yet it still remind to this day with many renovation done to restore the beauty. Have not been to Japan before but have heard many stories regarding the beauty of this amazing statue.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/i-love-kamakura-buddha-in-japan.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Sep 18. 2019 12:27 PM
    In Buddhism, symbolic offerings are made to the Triple Gem, giving rise to contemplative gratitude and inspiration. Offerings such as objects such as a lit candle or butter lamp, burning incense, flowers, food, fruit, water or drinks. Each material offerings is imbued representing each different symbolic meanings . Example the lighting of a candle or an butter lamp represents the light of wisdom illuminating the darkness of ignorance while the burning of incense represents the fragrant scent of morality and so on.
    Great knowledge and teachings from this post , explaining with details the importance of offerings.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/a-note-on-offerings-by-panchen-otrul-rinpoche.html?
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Sep 18. 2019 12:26 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for having made a Wealth Box in the beautiful Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR). It will attracts powerful energies of abundance and to attract the resources as well for the growth and expansion of Kechara Forest Retreat . We are fortunate and have the rare opportunity able to take part in this an extremely meritorious Dharma activity. Many thousands have seen benefited from this.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/get-involved-in-the-wealth-box-project-in-kfr.html?
  • S.Prathap
    Tuesday, Sep 17. 2019 04:39 PM
    Truly an amazing and informative article that every parent should read.This school does not focus just the academic results but it also emphasises on living in harmony with our environment.

    The design concept for Green School is simply superb having constructed with bamboo,local grass and renewable resources.Thank you very much for sharing such a good article.

    Read more : https://bit.ly/2kF3oF5
  • Yee Yin
    Tuesday, Sep 17. 2019 04:34 PM
    I am not surprised to know that trees are good to the human’s body. I remember my grandparents used to live in a village where there was a lot of green, not so much concrete and traffic, they were healthy and seldom sick. I like to live there too because the air was very fresh.

    In the cities where there are fewer trees, people tend to get sick easily due to pollutant caused by vehicles, industrial waste, etc. It is proven that trees are a good provider of oxygen and they can absorb and filter pollutants. Many metropolitan cities in Europe have started to plant more trees and they have a plan to grow more trees in the city for the wellbeings of the residents.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/scientists-have-discovered-that-living-near-trees-is-good-for-your-health.html
  • nicholas
    Tuesday, Sep 17. 2019 03:07 PM
    Malaysia has visitors from all over the world as our country here is beautiful, peaceful and diverse. I am fortunate to be in Malaysia with wonderful friends here too. So many people from all over the world visit our Kechara stalls, outlets and Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia. They really are happy to invite Dorje Shugden home with them along with his prayers, photo, poster, mantra and information booklet. Many of them return and or contact to tell us their wishes has been fulfilled when they sincerely pray to World Peace Buddha protector Dorje Shugden. It makes me so happy to benefit others.

    Tsem Rinpoche

    Read more at http://bit.ly/2lU7XLM
  • nicholas
    Tuesday, Sep 17. 2019 03:02 PM
    Arya Nagarjuna was a famous Mahasiddha, Buddhist philosopher, and alchemist who was born 400 years after Buddha Shakyamuni’s parinirvana.

    He is known for establishing the Middle Path (Madhyamaka) Buddhist tradition, making gold to fulfil the needs of the Sangha, and retrieving the Prajnaparamita Sutra from the Naga realm.

    Read more about him here http://bit.ly/2kkUDQa
  • nicholas
    Tuesday, Sep 17. 2019 02:51 PM
    Today, the practical applications of Einstein’s theories include the development of the television, remote control devices, automatic door openers, lasers, and DVD-players. Recognized as TIME magazine’s “Person of the Century” in 1999, Einstein’s intellect, coupled his strong passion for social justice and dedication to pacifism, left the world with infinite knowledge and pioneering moral leadership. So was his passion for Buddhism and its teachings. Today we present you Einstein’s world famous quotes on Buddhism that will be of a great value to understand how much the Buddhism was close to Einstein’s heart.

    Read his quote at http://bit.ly/2lRoRea
  • nicholas
    Tuesday, Sep 17. 2019 02:36 PM
    An Introduction To The Buddha Form And Iconography

    In this book, Tsem Rinpoche introduces us to a rich range of Buddha forms, providing basic information to kindle our interest in the iconography of statues –their postures, gestures and mudras, the ornaments and the implements they hold. Each one of these is a symbolic teaching in itself. Indeed the entire iconography, colour and pose of each Buddha statue combined presents a path to ultimate enlightenment.

    Read more to understand the Buddha’s icongraphy at http://bit.ly/2kEQxCP

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Messages from Rinpoche

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I must thank my dharma blog team who are great assets to me, Kechara and growth of dharma in this wonderful region. I am honoured and thrilled to work with them. I really am. Maybe I don't say it enough to them, but I am saying it now. I APPRECIATE THESE GUYS VERY MUCH!

Tsem Rinpoche

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  Bigfoot, Yeti, Sasquatch

The Unknown

The Known and unknown are both feared,
Known is being comfortable and stagnant,
The unknown may be growth and opportunities,
One shall never know if one fears the unknown more than the known.
Who says the unknown would be worse than the known?
But then again, the unknown is sometimes worse than the known. In the end nothing is known unless we endeavour,
So go pursue all the way with the unknown,
because all unknown with familiarity becomes the known.
~Tsem Rinpoche

Photos On The Go

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
2 months ago
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
2 months ago
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
2 months ago
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
2 months ago
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
2 months ago
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
3 months ago
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
3 months ago
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
3 months ago
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat\'s land here in Malaysia
3 months ago
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat's land here in Malaysia
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
3 months ago
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
3 months ago
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
3 months ago
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
3 months ago
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
Sacred Vajra Yogini
4 months ago
Sacred Vajra Yogini
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
4 months ago
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
4 months ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha\'s mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
4 months ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha's mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha\'s. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
4 months ago
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha's. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
4 months ago
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
4 months ago
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
This is pretty amazing!

First Sri Lankan Buddhist temple opened in Dubai!!!
4 months ago
This is pretty amazing! First Sri Lankan Buddhist temple opened in Dubai!!!
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche

Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
4 months ago
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can\'t stop thinking of you and I can\'t forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can't stop thinking of you and I can't forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
4 months ago
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
4 months ago
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
4 months ago
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
4 months ago
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
4 months ago
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
4 months ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
4 months ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
4 months ago
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
DON\'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
4 months ago
DON'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
4 months ago
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
4 months ago
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
4 months ago
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
5 months ago
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
5 months ago
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
5 months ago
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
Silver Manjusri figure from Ngemplak Semongan (Indonesia). Apparently during the Shailendra Dynasty, Mahayana Buddhism was very strong in Indonesia. This Dynasty promoted Mahayana Buddhism and Manjushri was a principal Buddha of worship.
5 months ago
Silver Manjusri figure from Ngemplak Semongan (Indonesia). Apparently during the Shailendra Dynasty, Mahayana Buddhism was very strong in Indonesia. This Dynasty promoted Mahayana Buddhism and Manjushri was a principal Buddha of worship.
In Buddhism: The Importance of Having a Clean Room- https://bit.ly/2ZgrbKS
5 months ago
In Buddhism: The Importance of Having a Clean Room- https://bit.ly/2ZgrbKS
There is an area near Lumbini, Nepal, they have sightings of Yeti for hundreds of years. So they have signages in the area with Yeti artwork to highlight this. Interesting. TR
5 months ago
There is an area near Lumbini, Nepal, they have sightings of Yeti for hundreds of years. So they have signages in the area with Yeti artwork to highlight this. Interesting. TR
Photos of footprints (Yeti) are from a high altitude pass (Darwa Pass) connecting Gangotri valley to Yamunotri valley through old pilgrim route.
5 months ago
Photos of footprints (Yeti) are from a high altitude pass (Darwa Pass) connecting Gangotri valley to Yamunotri valley through old pilgrim route.
Beautiful picture. Rare. Three holy beings.
5 months ago
Beautiful picture. Rare. Three holy beings.
May 1, 2019-I really enjoy this picture of these visitors visiting Dorje Shugden\'s grotto in Kechara Forest Retreat today. They look happy, light and blessed after doing their prayers to Dorje Shugden. I wanted to share this picture.- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
5 months ago
May 1, 2019-I really enjoy this picture of these visitors visiting Dorje Shugden's grotto in Kechara Forest Retreat today. They look happy, light and blessed after doing their prayers to Dorje Shugden. I wanted to share this picture.- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
A postcard of my great grand aunt Princess Nirgidma of Torghut-Tsem Rinpoche
5 months ago
A postcard of my great grand aunt Princess Nirgidma of Torghut-Tsem Rinpoche
Rei Kawakubo – Grand Dame of ‘Hiroshima Chic’- https://bit.ly/2Vz4N06
5 months ago
Rei Kawakubo – Grand Dame of ‘Hiroshima Chic’- https://bit.ly/2Vz4N06
Just now, this beautiful grape and orange infused water drink with a blue glass was brought in for me. I was amazed at the colors. Tsem Rinpoche
5 months ago
Just now, this beautiful grape and orange infused water drink with a blue glass was brought in for me. I was amazed at the colors. Tsem Rinpoche
We have to look in and change from within to find the way out of all that makes us unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche 

www.tsemrinpoche.com
5 months ago
We have to look in and change from within to find the way out of all that makes us unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche http://www.tsemrinpoche.com
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Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • Always be kind to animals-They deserve to live just like us.
    2 months ago
    Always be kind to animals-They deserve to live just like us.
    Whales and dolphins playing with each other in the Pacific sea. Nature is truly incredible!
  • Bodha stupa July 2019-
    2 months ago
    Bodha stupa July 2019-
    Rainy period
  • Cute Tara girl having a snack. She is one of Kechara Forest Retreat’s resident doggies.
    3 months ago
    Cute Tara girl having a snack. She is one of Kechara Forest Retreat’s resident doggies.
  • Your Next Meal!
    3 months ago
    Your Next Meal!
    Yummy? Tasty? Behind the scenes of the meat on your plates. Meat is a killing industry.
  • This is Daw
    3 months ago
    This is Daw
    This is what they do to get meat on tables, and to produce belts and jackets. Think twice before your next purchase.
  • Don’t Take My Mummy Away!
    3 months ago
    Don’t Take My Mummy Away!
    Look at the poor baby chasing after the mother. Why do we do that to them? It's time to seriously think about our choices in life and how they affect others. Be kind. Don't break up families.
  • They do this every day!
    3 months ago
    They do this every day!
    This is how they are being treated every day of their lives. Please do something to stop the brutality. Listen to their cries for help!
  • What happened at Fair Oaks Farm?
    3 months ago
    What happened at Fair Oaks Farm?
    The largest undercover dairy investigation of all time. See what they found out at Fair Oaks Farm.
  • She’s going to spend her whole life here without being able to move correctly. Like a machine. They are the slaves of the people and are viewed as a product. It’s immoral. Billions of terrestrial animals die annually. Billions. You can’t even imagine it. And all that because people don’t want to give up meat, even though there are so many alternatives. ~ Gabriel Azimov
    3 months ago
    She’s going to spend her whole life here without being able to move correctly. Like a machine. They are the slaves of the people and are viewed as a product. It’s immoral. Billions of terrestrial animals die annually. Billions. You can’t even imagine it. And all that because people don’t want to give up meat, even though there are so many alternatives. ~ Gabriel Azimov
  • Our Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir speaks so well, logically and regarding our country’s collaboration with China for growth. It is refreshing to listen to Dr. Mahathir’s thoughts. He said our country can look to China for many more things such as technology and so on. Tsem Rinpoche
    5 months ago
    Our Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir speaks so well, logically and regarding our country’s collaboration with China for growth. It is refreshing to listen to Dr. Mahathir’s thoughts. He said our country can look to China for many more things such as technology and so on. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This is the first time His Holiness Dalai Lama mentions he had some very serious illness. Very worrying. This video is captured April 2019.
    5 months ago
    This is the first time His Holiness Dalai Lama mentions he had some very serious illness. Very worrying. This video is captured April 2019.
  • Beautiful Monastery in Hong Kong
    5 months ago
    Beautiful Monastery in Hong Kong
  • This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
    5 months ago
    This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Join Tsem Rinpoche in prayer for H.H. Dalai Lama’s long life~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYy7JcveikU&feature=youtu.be
    5 months ago
    Join Tsem Rinpoche in prayer for H.H. Dalai Lama’s long life~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYy7JcveikU&feature=youtu.be
  • These people going on pilgrimage to a holy mountain and prostrating out of devotion and for pilgrimage in Tibet. Such determination for spiritual practice. Tsem Rinpoche
    5 months ago
    These people going on pilgrimage to a holy mountain and prostrating out of devotion and for pilgrimage in Tibet. Such determination for spiritual practice. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Beautiful new casing in Kechara for Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
    6 months ago
    Beautiful new casing in Kechara for Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Get ready to laugh real hard. This is Kechara’s version of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane!” We have some real talents in this video clip.
    6 months ago
    Get ready to laugh real hard. This is Kechara’s version of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane!” We have some real talents in this video clip.
  • Recitation of Dorje Dermo‘s mantra or the Dharani of Glorious Vajra Claws. This powerful mantra is meant to destroy all obstacles that come in our way. Beneficial to play this mantra in our environments.
    6 months ago
    Recitation of Dorje Dermo‘s mantra or the Dharani of Glorious Vajra Claws. This powerful mantra is meant to destroy all obstacles that come in our way. Beneficial to play this mantra in our environments.
  • Beautiful
    6 months ago
    Beautiful
    Beautiful sacred Severed Head Vajra Yogini from Tsem Rinpoche's personal shrine.
  • My little monster cute babies Dharma and Oser. Take a look and get a cute attack for the day! Tsem Rinpoche
    6 months ago
    My little monster cute babies Dharma and Oser. Take a look and get a cute attack for the day! Tsem Rinpoche
  • Plse watch this short video and see how all sentient beings are capable of tenderness and love. We should never hurt animals nor should we eat them. Tsem Rinpoche
    6 months ago
    Plse watch this short video and see how all sentient beings are capable of tenderness and love. We should never hurt animals nor should we eat them. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Cruelty of some people have no limits and it’s heartbreaking. Being kind cost nothing. Tsem Rinpoche
    7 months ago
    Cruelty of some people have no limits and it’s heartbreaking. Being kind cost nothing. Tsem Rinpoche
  • SUPER ADORABLE and must see
    8 months ago
    SUPER ADORABLE and must see
    Tsem Rinpoche's dog Oser girl enjoying her snack in her play pen.
  • Cute!
    8 months ago
    Cute!
    Oser girl loves the balcony so much. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTcoWpKJm2c
  • Uncle Wong
    8 months ago
    Uncle Wong
    We were told by Uncle Wong he is very faithful toward Dorje Shugden. Dorje Shugden has extended help to him on several occasions and now Uncle Wong comes daily to make incense offerings to Dorje Shugden. He is grateful towards the help he was given.
  • Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
    9 months ago
    Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
  • Cute baby owl found and rescued
    9 months ago
    Cute baby owl found and rescued
    We rescued a lost baby owl in Kechara Forest Retreat.
  • Nice cups from Kechara!!
    9 months ago
    Nice cups from Kechara!!
    Dorje Shugden people's lives matter!
  • Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    9 months ago
    Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    Chirping birds and other forest animals create a joyful melody at the Vajrayogini stupa in Kechara Forest Retreat (Bentong, Malaysia).
  • His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche makes offering of khata to Dorje Shugden.
    9 months ago
    His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche makes offering of khata to Dorje Shugden.
    Trijang Rinpoche never gave up his devotion to Dorje Shugden no matter how much Tibetan government in exile pressured him to give up. He stayed loyal inspiring so many of us.
  • This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    2 yearss ago
    This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    This video is thought-provoking and very interesting. Watch! Thanks so much to our friends at LIVEKINDLY.
  • Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
    2 yearss ago
    Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
  • BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
    2 yearss ago
    BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
    2 yearss ago
    Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
  • Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
    2 yearss ago
    Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
  • Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
    Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    2 yearss ago
    This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    she received “one last visit from an old friend” 💔💔
  • Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
    2 yearss ago
    Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
  • Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
    2 yearss ago
    Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
  • Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant  Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
    2 yearss ago
    Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
  • Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
    2 yearss ago
    Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
  • Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
    Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
  • What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    2 yearss ago
    What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    Sick animals are more profitable... farms calculate how close to death they can keep animals without killing them. That's the business model. How quickly they can be made to grow, how tightly they can be packed, how much or how little can they eat, how sick they can get without dying... We live in a world in which it's conventional to treat an animal like a block of wood. ~ Jonathan Safran Foer
  • This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
    2 yearss ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
  • SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    2 yearss ago
    SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    This happens daily in slaughterhouse so you can get your pork and Bak ku teh. Stop eating meat.

ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

A section for you to clarify your Dharma questions with Kechara’s esteemed pastors.

Just post your name and your question below and one of our pastors will provide you with an answer.

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View All Questions

CHAT PICTURES

Currently the youngest student in dharma class :) Lin Mun KSDS
3 weeks ago
Currently the youngest student in dharma class :) Lin Mun KSDS
Nice lotus sit done by the youngest class students. Lin Mun KSDS
3 weeks ago
Nice lotus sit done by the youngest class students. Lin Mun KSDS
Teacher Jayce is teaching dharma to student of age 11-12 years old . Lin Mun MSDS
3 weeks ago
Teacher Jayce is teaching dharma to student of age 11-12 years old . Lin Mun MSDS
Students enjoyed the light exercise session. Lin Mun KSDS
3 weeks ago
Students enjoyed the light exercise session. Lin Mun KSDS
Some simple exercise before we finish our dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
3 weeks ago
Some simple exercise before we finish our dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
Teacher Grace giving some ideas on activities to Wen Yue. Lin Mun KSDS
3 weeks ago
Teacher Grace giving some ideas on activities to Wen Yue. Lin Mun KSDS
The children were so excited to wait for the next quiz question. Lin Mun KSDS
4 weeks ago
The children were so excited to wait for the next quiz question. Lin Mun KSDS
Children will do prostration and recite Manjushri mantra before start of dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
4 weeks ago
Children will do prostration and recite Manjushri mantra before start of dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback - Participants were so attentive when colouring tsa tsa. Lin Mun KSDS
4 weeks ago
Throwback - Participants were so attentive when colouring tsa tsa. Lin Mun KSDS
Maya painting Vajrayogini tsa tsa at the kid’s corner during Wesak day. Lin Mun KSDS
4 weeks ago
Maya painting Vajrayogini tsa tsa at the kid’s corner during Wesak day. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback- Family visiting KFR on the auspicious Wesak Day. Lin Mun KSDS
4 weeks ago
Throwback- Family visiting KFR on the auspicious Wesak Day. Lin Mun KSDS
Join us on Saturday, 24th August 2019 in celebrating International Dorje Shugden Day with an evening of auspicious and powerful pujas for abundance, prosperity, longevity and wish-fulfilment! PROGRAMME 4:00pm – Prayer Flag Puja & Lhasang Smoke Offering Ritual 5:30pm – Free vegetarian dinner 6:30pm – Gyenze Increasing Fire Puja 9:00pm – End Collectively, these pujas are a celebration of Dorje Shugden’s blessings and are highly beneficial for all sponsors and attendees. There’s really no better place to celebrate Dorje Shugden Day than in Kechara Forest Retreat, which is home to the world’s largest Dorje Shugden statue. MORE INFO: kecharaforestretreat.com/dorjeshugdenday
4 weeks ago
Join us on Saturday, 24th August 2019 in celebrating International Dorje Shugden Day with an evening of auspicious and powerful pujas for abundance, prosperity, longevity and wish-fulfilment! PROGRAMME 4:00pm – Prayer Flag Puja & Lhasang Smoke Offering Ritual 5:30pm – Free vegetarian dinner 6:30pm – Gyenze Increasing Fire Puja 9:00pm – End Collectively, these pujas are a celebration of Dorje Shugden’s blessings and are highly beneficial for all sponsors and attendees. There’s really no better place to celebrate Dorje Shugden Day than in Kechara Forest Retreat, which is home to the world’s largest Dorje Shugden statue. MORE INFO: kecharaforestretreat.com/dorjeshugdenday
Teacher Jayce explained the good value from Rinpoche’s teachings. Alice, KSDS
4 weeks ago
Teacher Jayce explained the good value from Rinpoche’s teachings. Alice, KSDS
“Be kind to animals.” Let your kids join the monthly Animal Liberation at Kechara House, Sunwaymas.
4 weeks ago
“Be kind to animals.” Let your kids join the monthly Animal Liberation at Kechara House, Sunwaymas.
Chern Chern learnt dharma and show the good attitudes to others. Alice, KSDS
4 weeks ago
Chern Chern learnt dharma and show the good attitudes to others. Alice, KSDS
Encourage the kids to express their feelings and at the same instill the dharma to them. Alice, KSDS
4 weeks ago
Encourage the kids to express their feelings and at the same instill the dharma to them. Alice, KSDS
Teacher Grace taught the participants for the DIY candles. Alice , KSDS
4 weeks ago
Teacher Grace taught the participants for the DIY candles. Alice , KSDS
Children recite Migtsema and Manjushri mantra before the start of dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
1 month ago
Children recite Migtsema and Manjushri mantra before the start of dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
Student do full prostration before the start of dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
1 month ago
Student do full prostration before the start of dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
Wen Yue led students to do key chain as part of art and craft activity. Lin Mun KSDS
1 month ago
Wen Yue led students to do key chain as part of art and craft activity. Lin Mun KSDS
Teacher Kien shared some photos of sangha members. Lin Mun KSDS
1 month ago
Teacher Kien shared some photos of sangha members. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback- close bonding during WOAH camp. Lin Mun KSDS
1 month ago
Throwback- close bonding during WOAH camp. Lin Mun KSDS
Teenage dharma class in Kechara House . Lin Mun KSDS
1 month ago
Teenage dharma class in Kechara House . Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback- Chinese New Year activity, calligraphy with best wishes words. Lin Mun KSDS
1 month ago
Throwback- Chinese New Year activity, calligraphy with best wishes words. Lin Mun KSDS
KISG has been performing White Tara and Dorje Shugden puja for 4 consecutive nights. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
1 month ago
KISG has been performing White Tara and Dorje Shugden puja for 4 consecutive nights. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
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Dorje Shugden
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