Dev

Wildm an of West and Cent ral Asia.

Etymology: Tajik (Persian), "demon." The Indo-European root dyeu- is t he basis for bot h t he Sanskrit (Indo-Aryan) devah ("god") and t he Avestan daeva ("demon").

Variant names: Daeva, Div, Pare.

Physical description: Height, 4 feet 10 inches. Covered wit h shaggy, reddish-brown or black hair. Black skin. Has horns, claws, fangs, and t ail.

Behavior: Bipedal. Travels eit her singly or in pairs. Feeds on marmot s and ot her rodent s.

Distribution: Armenia; Nort hern Iran; t he Pamir Mount ains, Tajikist an.

Significant sightings: Geologist B. M. Zdorik ran across a Dev sleeping along a pat h high in t he upper reaches of t he Dondushkan River in the Pamirs, Tajikistan, in 1934. Its body was covered wit h yaklike fur. Zdorik and his guide panicked and fled before t he creat ure awoke. The local people said t here were families of Devs living in t he Tal'bar and Safid-Dara Valleys. An adult Dev had been caught in 1933 at a flour mill a few miles from Tut kaul, where it was kept chained up for t wo mont hs before it escaped.

Sources: Boris F. Porshnev and A. A. Shmakov, eds., Informatsionnye materialy, Komissii po Izucheniyu Voprosa o "Snezhnom Cheloveke," 4 vols. (Moscow: Akademiia Nauk SSSR, 1958-1959); Ivan T. Sanderson, Abominable Snowmen: Legend Come to Life (Philadelphia: Chilton, 1961), pp. 310-311; Dmit ri Bayanov, In the Footsteps of the Russian Snowman (Moscow: Crypt o-Logos, 1996), pp. 78-80.

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