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Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Little Jade Yeti

I came across this early Chinese jade while doing a photosearch for something else, and the catalogue description of this object says that it represents a bird. It is stylized and simplified enogh to make identification uncertain, but it gives me more of the impression of a broad-shouldered, gorilla-like creature with a shelf-like browridge and slit-like lips. It might be shown with large round eyes but outsized eyes are sometimes described on Bigfoot  by some of the witnesses. furthermore, it has two round discs on its chest that may be represent large pectoral muscles: the interpretation that this is a bird figure says that those are meant to be the bird's stylized feet. And I am not exactly certain what the artist intended, but the bottom extremities of the arms look more like fists than feathers to me.
The culture is identified as Hongshan Neolithic and the Jade was found at a site near Inner Mongolia. The Hongshan Neolithic ran from 4700 to 2900 BC and it is the same culture that produced odd semicircular  stylized "Dragon" figures which I suggested could indicate a Long-Necked or possibly an Eel-like  water monster. Some of the 'dragons" are called "Pig-Dragons", a sort of a local Makara, and they might be meant to depict fat seals. Some of the carvings actually do represent a large eagle-like  bird, possibly a Thunderbird, but this carving does not resemble those "Thunderbird" carvings except in a general way.
The jade carvings also DO include sculpted skulls, so it is no good to say nobody was carving rock-crystal skulls thousands of years BC.

My opinion is that that this jade depicts a Chinese "Wildman" and possibly the same creature that Ivan Sanderson called a "Gin-Sing" (Jen-Hsiung). There are other jade carvings I had seen in illustrations which also have that overall "Gorilla" look to them, and other such examples also from Olmec Mexico.

Best Wishes, Dale D.
PS, you also DO sometimes see depictions of ordinary monkeys with enormous saucer-eyes in later Chinese art: in this case, it isn't so sure that was the idea.

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