Rakshi Bompo

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Alternate name for the Yeti of Central Asia.

Etymology: Tibetan/Indo-Aryan hybrid word meaning "powerful demon," according to Gordon Creighton. Rakshasa are Hindu demons from the Ramayana; in some old epics, they were the pre-Aryan inhabitants of India. Ratkshi is a Nepali alcoholic drink made from rice or millet. Rag tse is Tibetan for "stone." Bonpo was a priest of the religion of Tibet prior to Buddhism, often in charge of exorcisms. Variant name: Ragshi. Physical description: Height, 4-6 feet. Behavior: Herbivorous. Fast runner. Habitat: Dense forests. Distribution: Nepal.

Significant sightings: In December 1957, a group of Rakshi-bompo broke into the water mill run by a Sherpa named Phurbu, near Malemchi-gaon, Nepal. He found them inside, eating flour. By the time villagers gathered to drive them away, they had disappeared into the forest.

Sources: Bernard Heuvelmans, On the Track ofUnknown Animals (New York: Hill and Wang, 1958), p. 176; Edmund Hillary and Desmond Doig, High in the Thin Cold Air (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1962), p. 31; Odette Tchernine, The Yeti (London: Neville Spearman, 1970), p. 175; Kesar Lall, Lore and Legend of the Yeti (Kathmandu: Pilgrims Book House, 1988), pp. 39-40.

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