Teh imah

The teh imah, meaning “man-like being” is an obscure proto pygmy inhabiting the Chhoyang River Valley in Nepal. They are small, only 4 to 4.5 feet tall, with long arms, a large head, and a childlike-body shape. They have a large mouth, small nose, large philtrum and are covered in shaggy reddish hair. 

In 1958, explorer and businessman Tom Slick was with Gerald Russel, The first naturalist who captured the panda, and their guide, Da Temba, and went on an expedition to look for the yeti and similar unknown primates.

They were told by locals that if they look at a stream off the Chhoyang River, they would probably find a teh imah, which regularly visited the area to hunt for frogs. The next night, Da Temba and another man who offered to help them earlier, spotted a wet footprint in the stone, then, only 10 yards away, they saw a teh imah in the torchlight. It was 4.5 ft tall, with a pointed head and no neck, and had reddish grey hair. When the teh imah started walking towards them, they ran away and slept in a nearby village. Slick, Da Temba and Russel continued looking for the teh imah and used frogs as lures, but they only found tracks of the animal and half-eaten frog carcasses. 

Teh Imah illustration by Harry Trumbore