Zana was a speculated Almas, a hairy apelike woman who was captured in 1850 and died in 1890.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Capture[edit | edit source]
In 1850, a group of hunters were prowling the Ochamchir region of Georgia in Russia when they were astonished by the sight of a young female wild woman. She looked somewhat human, but also had many ape-like features. With great difficulty, they captured the woman and brought her to civilization for study where they named her Zana.
Life in the village[edit | edit source]
Zana unlike other feral captures, which were obviously human in appearance,had thick arms, legs and fingers, a massive bosom and was covered with dark hair. More primitive still was her behavior, which was so vicious that she had to be kept caged for the first few years of her captivity.
The details of her life in the Russian village are sketchy, but apparently Zana's behavior mellowed after a few years and she was taught to perform such domestic tasks as grinding corn. It was said that she had a remarkable tolerance for the cold and disliked being in a heated room. Zana always refused to wear clothes, and grew aggressive when clothed. She was a gluttinous eater, and liked to go out into the hills and climb trees, fighting off dogs with large sticks. She also liked to lounge in pools with the buffalo.
Although Zana never learned to communicate through human speech, she obviously had developed social abilities since she gave birth to several children sired by various human fathers. How these pregnancies came about exactly is unclear, but it is known that Zana accidentally killed at least one of her children by trying to bathe it in a cold river. Apparently, she thought her offspring had the same tolerance to cold as she did.
Death[edit | edit source]
Several of her other children were taken from her, for their protection, by families in the village who raised them as their own. Unlike their mother, the children did learn to speak and they eventually had children of their own. Zana died in 1890, and the youngest of her children survived until 1954. Her grandchildren, according to researchers, had dark skin, Negroid features and were extraordinarily strong.
The skull of Khwit (also spelled Kvit) is still extant, and was examined by Dr. Grover Krantz in the early 1990s. He pronounced it to be entirely modern, with no Neanderthal features at all. If Krantz's verdict on the skull is correct, and the skull itself is indeed that of Zana's son, it would indicate that Zana may have been a member of an isolated hunter gatherer tribe so culturally different from her captors' society as to make Zana seem non-human to them, even though she was indeed a modern human.
However, another account by Russian anthropologist M.A.Kolodieva described the skull as significantly different from the normal males from Abkhazia: the skull "approaches closest the Neolithic Vovnigi II skulls of the fossil series".