Xing Xing

Unknown PRIMATE of Central Asia. In earlier times, apparently used for WlLDMEN or YETI.

Etymology: Chinese (Sino-Tibetan), "orangutan" or "ape."

Variant name: Hsing-hsing.

Physical description: Apelike. White, humanlike face. Pointed ears.

Behavior: Bipedal. Arboreal. Call is like a child's cry. Capable of speech. Fond of wine.

Distribution: A large ravine in remote Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China, may have been named after this ape. Called Xing-xingxia (Ape Ravine), it is situated at 41° 48' N, 95° 09' E. A different intonation of Xingxing in Mandarin means "stars," and geographers prefer the latter derivation. However, there is an old tradition that man-eating apes would drink from the river that used to flow through the ravine.

Sources: Tz'u-chi Chou, T'ai p'ing kuang chi [a.D. 981]; Georg Vasel, My Russian Jailers in China (London: Hurst and Blackett, 1937); Chang Hsin-hai, The Fabulous Concubine (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1956); Robert Hans van Gulik, The Gibbon in China: An Essay in Chinese Animal Lore (Leiden, the Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 1967); David M. Farquhar, Gunnar Jarring, and Erik Norin, "Index Geographical Names," in Sven Hedin, Sven Hedin Central Asia Atlas: Memoir on Maps, vol. 2 (Stockholm: Etnografiska Museet, 1968); Odette Tchernine, The Yeti (London: Neville Spearman, 1970), pp. 82-88.

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