Tuesday, January 19, 2010

About this Blog

Since there have been some new readers to the blog (Welcome!), this is a good opportunity for me to describe what I Love the Yeti is all about.

This blog is an attempt to showcase and archive the rise in popularity of the yeti, aka the Abominable Snowman. For those of you who don't know, this is the big hairy possibly-ape-like creature said to live in the Himalayan region of Nepal and Tibet.

For the purpose of this blog, it is not to be confused with another possibly-ape-like creature that resides in the Pacific Northwest of N. America known as Bigfoot or Sasquatch. Nor any other similarly ape-like creatures from other parts of the world. Unless said creatures have white fur. In that case, it's close enough, and I'll post about it. Brown fur on a possibly-ape-like creature is probably not going to make it though. If the brown-furred creature's standing in the snow, however (as seen in this example), we're good. These are the House Rules.

(Update: Just to be clear, the creature known as yeti has never actually been reported by eyewitnesses as white-furred. This is just something we in the west made up. This blog isn't really about cryptozoology (which can be a legitimate science for finding real animals). Instead, this blog is about our popular culture's flawed desire to popularize and skew the idea of a possibly real animal. And our idea these days is that this animal called yeti is a weird polar bear crossed with a gorilla, even though that has little to do with the evidence. For actual cryptozoology, see sites such as Cryptozoology Online and Cryptomundo.)

Here's a basic pictorial guide to what I typically post to the blog:

As a testament to the yeti's popularity, artists are often inspired to use him as the subject of their work. This blog's main focus is to share the various, unique visions of the yeti. It's interesting for me to see what people think a thing looks like when that thing doesn't actually have a "look". Unlike many artistic subjects, the yeti's not real - or at least there's no photos of it. I like seeing how artists' depictions of this imaginary thing can evolve over time. If you showed someone from the 1950's (who knew what yeti was) an artistic representation of the Abominable Snowman from 2010, he/she may not recognize it at all. It would not fit in with what they think a yeti is. Yeti is continually shape-shifting, incorporating different concepts and aspects from the popular culture.

(Note: In the description below, I've included links to the various labels (or tabs) that I have used to categorize my posts over the years. Feel free to use this as a starting off point to explore the site further.)

The depictions showcased on this blog include 2D visual Art (such as drawing, painting, etc.), but also the 3D: Plush, Figures, Designer Toys, and Sculpture (statues). They also include the suits and costumes (Disguise) that bear his likeness as well.

Besides the arrays of artistic depiction, this blog hopes to capture yeti's best moments...

...When he appears in Comics, Television, Movies, at Theme Parks, on hip T-shirts, and when he tries to sell something (Endorsements).

...When he's associated with food (Edible), drink (Potable) and also with sports (Athleticism), particularly Snowboarding of which he is rather fond.

...When he hails from Japan, Canada, or Outer Space. Or even better, an Alternate Reality.

...When he wears Armor and when he wields a Stave (which is the same as a sword). And even when he rips out a tree trunk and fights people with that (Tree-as-Weapon).

...When he consorts with Pirates, Robots, Unicorns and Zombies (which isn't all that often actually).

...When he battles his adversaries one-on-one (Versus), paying particular attention to the Hulk and the Superman.

...And when he's Red, Green, or Yellow for whatever reason. When he wears a Hat. Has Horns (which is very often). Just one eye (Cyclops). And when he enjoys an iced treat (Popsicles).

By being in a position to chronicle and observe, this blog is able to note trends:

It may surprise you to know there is a rise in the number of images depicting him with the following: Lederhosen, Undies, Skull Apparel, Scooters.

And that he is rapidly becoming one of the major icons of both Christmas and Halloween holidays.

And then there are your usual theories that Yeti=Snow Troll, Yeti=Walrus-Man, Yeti=Wendigo, and the ever-popular Yeti=Were-Bear.

There has also, and this is interesting to me, been more and more depictions of yeti rendering him in a highly stylized, abstracted manner. Less discernible ape-like features. More like a hulky blob-man. Cutesy, you could call it. Totoro-esque, if you know the reference. I call this new yeti the Ablobinable Snowman.

An example of Ablobinableness by Jess Bradley

This blog also desires to highlight artistic works inspired by kiwa hirsuta.

All hail the "Yeti Crab". It's real. And it's amazing. Worthy of praise and song.

And here are a few other things about the blog:

Out there exist things that are like a yeti but aren't a yeti. Each Friday, I typically have a post called "Not Yeti Friday" to showcase said individuals.

Every year I do a Gift Guide.

I personally think that when a yeti speaks, he probably says the following word: "Snaaaurr!" But others have different ideas. So I've done my best to collect his different utterings.

There are a few running gags that amuse only me (and just barely). For example, whenever a yeti depiction includes blood, I say that yeti is participating in Bloodpainting. I have no idea what that is. I also say that yeti enjoys Frog Collecting. And that somehow Bananimals are important. Again, no idea.

This blog has been featured twice on Boingboing: once in December 2005 and once in March 2008.

That's it! Hope you enjoy! Oh, my name is Henry.


LemonCadet said...

Did you hear Walter mention the yeti on Thursday's Fringe?

Jeff said...

I enjoy a good Sasquatch post every once in a while, myself.

Cassidy Lee said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE "I Love the Yeti" :) Thanks for bringing the latest creations of the big, hairy beast together for us.

Richard Freeman said...

The yeti is NOT WHITE! There has never, ever been a single report of a white yeti (although white saquatches have been reported) The yeti is dark brown or black in colour. The whole sorry idea comes from a mistranslation of the Sino-Tibetan name Metoh-kangmi, meaning abominable rock-man was miss-translated as abominable snow-man. The snowman tag caught the imagination of the west and the idea of a white furred beast, a king of cross between a polar bear and a gorilla took root.

The name yeti is also derived from Tibetan and means ‘rock man.’ There are clues here in the names. None of them associate the animal with snow. Above the snowline in the Himalayas there is little to sustain a large primate. Apes have big brains and big brains require a lot of nourishment. Known apes live in rainforests. Some prehistoric apes lived in cooler climate but none, in so far as we know, lived in snow. The Japanese macaque
(Macaca fuscata), lives in mountains and can tollerate tempretures of 5 dgrees celcius but it does not spend its whole life above the snow line. Neither is it white.

The yeti probobly inhabits the semi-tropical forests in the lower valleys were it can feed on a wide veriety of plants and animals. One theory suggests that bamboo may make up part of its diet. The giant Pleistocene ape Gigantopithecus blacki is thought to have included bamboo in its diet and this very creature is the number one candidate for the identity of the yeti.

Richard Freeman, cryptozoologist

Henry said...

Really interesting! Just to be clear: I really like cryptozoology and appreciate what cryptozoologists do, but I don't consider this blog about cryptozoology in any way. My blog is strictly about the way the popular culture represents this creature (white, hanging around snow) and is just meant for entertainment/comedy purposes, not education or information. I'm just an observer, cataloger, and archivist of one tiny (and as you point out, flawed) aspect of the popular culture, presenting artists' depictions of the yeti. I do find it interesting how people have gotten so astray from the actual reports. Thanks for reading and commenting!

Richard Freeman said...

The Wendigo of Algonquin Indian lore is said to be white but it's not usualy depicted hairy. Its a cannibal spirit of cold, hunger and winter said to possess humans who have eaten human flesh. I'm currently working on a bookm about it.

Henry said...

I also love the Wendigo... so people don't have to. Looking forward to your book about it!

Zak said...

Gumey, this blog is the best. And keep the ablobinables coming--best development on this blog after the gift guide, not-yeti Fridays and utterings.

John Cooper said...

It is truly amazing how much passion people have for something that may or may not be a real creature.

Anonymous said...

Hi I am looking for a cool yeti doll.
Do you have idea where I can find it?
I love this kind of version:


Please help me find my yeti doll!

Henry said...

It's called the Marx Yeti. It's an antique (47 years old!), so it is very hard to find and very expensive.

You can read my blog post about it for more info.

Good luck finding one!