mercredi 11 juillet 2007

La chasse au Yéti

Sept ans au Tibet, le dernier film du réalisateur Jean-Jacques Annaud, à qui l'on doit notamment La guerre du feu et L'ours, est sur les écrans en cette fin d'année 1997. Inspiré du récit autobiographique de l'alpiniste autrichien Heinrich Harrer, il raconte comment ce dernier, en compagnie de Peter Aufschnaiter, s'évada du camp de Dehra Dun (nord de l'Inde), où il était détenu depuis le début de la guerre de 40, alors qu'ils tentaient l'ascension du Nanga Parbat (un des "8000"). Parvenu au Tibet, Harrer finit par s'installer à Lhassa, la capitale, où il devint le précepteur du dalai-lama, jusqu'à l'invasion du pays par les communistes chinois en 1950.
En marge de cette aventure humaine, une anecdote survenue en 1944 se doit d'être mentionnée ici. Comme le rapporta Heinrich Harrer lui-même :

"Une fois, à la lisière de la forêt, je vis sur la neige fraîche des traces de pas que je ne reconnus pas, et qui auraient pu être faites par un homme."

l est vraisemblable qu'il s'agissait là des traces de pas de l'homme sauvage local, appelé notamment migö, sur lequel divers auteurs (dont Alexandra David-Néel) ont rassemblé quantité d'informations.
Curieusement, ce passage sur des traces de pas inconnues, cité notamment par Carlo Graffigna (1962), ne se trouve pas dans le livre de Heinrich Harrer Sept ans d'aventures au Tibet (1952), mais nous n'avons pas pu vérifier la version originale allemande Sieben Jahre in Tibet. Ce qui est certain, c'est qu'on doit à Peter Aufschnaiter (1972), compagnon de cordée et d'infortune de Harrer, un intéressant article sur le mitre, un des noms donnés au Tibet à l'Homme-des-Neiges.

Pour en savoir plus :

1972 Once more : the Yeti. East and West, 22
[n° 1-20] : 115-117 (March-June).

DAVID-NÉEL, Alexandra
1954 Les "abominables hommes des neiges". France-Asie, 10
[n° 95-96] : 564-570.

1962 Storia e mito dell' Uomo delle Nevi. Milano, Giangiacomo Feltrinelli.

HARRER, Heinrich
1952 Sept ans d'aventures au Tibet. Paris, Arthaud.

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