Bhutanese Tales of the Yeti
By: Kunzang Choden
Length: 194 pages
Release date: Dec 31, 1999
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Bhutanese Tales of the Yeti is a collection of twenty-two stories set in four different regions of Bhutan. The presence of the yeti is ubiquitous to the kingdoms of the Himalayas, where beliefs and attitudes related to it go beyond scientific judgment and analysis. The Bhutanese consider the yeti, or the migoi, to be an essential part of the backdrop of their existence. Believed to possess supernatural powers enabling it to become invisible at will, the yeti often manifests itself in a tangible form and then suddenly vanishes, leaving behind nothing but an unexpected void. Folklore about the abominable snowman has existed for centuries; however, with the far-reaching impact of the media, the perpetuation of this oral tradition is threatened. This collection of stories is an attempt to document a vital tradition before it is wiped out entirely. The book is well illustrated and includes maps of the four regions.
The author Kunzang Choden was born in Bumthang, central Bhutan in the year of the dragon (1952). It was during her childhood that Bhutan had opted to shed its self-imposed isolation for modernization and socioeconomic development. Several years later, it was the author’s interest in folklore, and her concern that much of her country’s cultural heritage would be lost in this transitional period, that motivated her to compile the folktales of this remote Himalayan kingdom. She is the first writer to chronicle her country’s oral tradition in English. The Yeti in Bhutan is her second book. She has also authored Folktales of Bhutan, which was published in 1994 by White Lotus.