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George Washington University

Publication Date

Fall 2009

Program Name

Mongolia: Nomadic Culture and Globalization


The legend of the almas, the wildman of Mongolia, has a long history. The stories are primarily found in the western aimags of Mongolia. This paper investigates the presence of the almas as legend outside of its traditional western home. The almas has been thoroughly documented as a western phenomenon, but this paper seeks to discover how much of a presence it has in the wider culture, especially in central and eastern Mongolia where few, if any almas legends ever take place. This paper also explores what the almas means to different people. The stories about the almas can be thought of in two ways, as simply legends or as factual accounts of a living creature. In order to fully know and understand what the almas means, both perspectives must be taken into account. . First, the social meaning and use of the almas legends are explored in this paper. Then the history of almas sightings and evidence is documented and various explanations for its existence are examined. The almas stands at the crossroad of science and legend.


Anthropology | Folklore

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Folklore Commons


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