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Zana The Wild Woman



I was browsing the web looking for info about orang-pendeks and i came across a story about a creature called Zana. Has anyone ever heard about her? Her story is amazing, aparently she was a neandethal captured by villagers then integrated into theyre society. She gave birth to several kids that actually never died untill recently. If this story is true then it would be logical to assume that there are still clans of neanderthals living near russia.. if anyone has any info regarding this id love to hear it.. ill paste here story below for u to read if u aint heard of her or goto


In Abkhazia, Western Caucasus, relict hominoids are called abnauayu. While collecting reports in 1962, a colleague of Boris Porshnev, zoologist Prof Alexander Mashkovtsev, heard and studied the story of Zana. Subsequently, Porshnev took over where his late companion left off. The following information is borrowed from Porshnev's work The Struggle for Troglodytes.

Zana was a female abnauayu who had been caught and tamed and who lived and died within the memory of a number of people still alive at the time of the research. She was buried near the village of Tkhina in the Ochamchiri District of Abkhazia in the 1880s or 1890s.

But she became the mother of human children, and this is the wonderous side of her life story, very important for the science of genetics. Zana was pregnant several times by various men, and, giving birth without assistance, she always washed the newborn child in the cold water-spring. The half-breed infants, unable to survive these ablutions, died.

So, when subsequently Zana gave birth, the villagers began taking the newborn babies away from her in good time, and reared them themselves. Four times this happened, and the children, two sons and two daughters, grew up as humans, fully-fledged and normal men and women who could talk and possessed reason. It is true that they had some strange physical and mental features, but nonetheless they were fully capable of engaging in work and social Life

The Legend:
In the mid-eighteenth century, hunters in the Ochamchir region of Georgia (a Province of Russia on the edge of the Black sea) captured a 'wild woman' who had ape-like features, a massive bosom, thick arms, legs, and fingers, and was covered with hair. This 'wild woman', named Zana by her captors, was so violent at first that she had to spend many years in a cage with food being tossed to her. Eventually, she was domesticated and would perform simple tasks, like grinding corn. She had an incredible endurance against cold, and couldn't stand to be in a heated room.
She enjoyed gorging herself on grapes from the vine, and also had a weakness for wines, often drinking so heavily she would sleep for hours. As Colin Wilson points out in The Encyclopedia of Unsolved Mysteries, this is likely how she became the mother of many children to different fathers. These children usually died when she tried to wash them in the freezing river, a mistake that is understandible if she expected the children to have her own resistance to cold; but being half Homo sapiens, they just froze. The villagers just started to take her children away from her and raise them as their own; unlike their mother, the children developed the ability to communicate as well as any other villager.
Zana died in the village about 1890; the youngest of her children died in 1954. Her story was researched by Professor Porchnev who interviewed many old people (one as old as a hundred and five) who remembered Zana, as well as two of her grandchildren. the grandchildren had dark skin and a Negroid look, and the grandson, named Shalikula, had jaws so powerful that he could lift a chair with a man sitting in it.
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Fascinting stuff, T.M...I think there exists a contemporary clan of these women prowling the seedier pubs of Leeds. The descriptions and lifestyle seems to match! :)
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Tang, this is too interesting, mate...I'm going to have to look into this further. You might not know this, but my anscestors were cavemen, believe it or not! :) Seriously, if these reports are even somewhat valid, somebody needs to get up there and investigate thoroughly. From the sound of it though, these folks don't sound too much like Julie Ege or Raquel Welch in those old Hammer cavemen flicks. :(
Yeah, I've read this story a few times. Also that some of the ancestors should still be alive now. Which was the most surprising thing about all this. That there was no follow up. Go find those ancestors or dig up the grave and do DNA. Imagine what you could find.

However I believe she was called Alma or so. But that might be another similar case I am thinking of.
Your getting mixed up Xanatic she was an Alma which is the russian name given to the yeti type creatures found around that area. The Almas are thought to be a surviving clan of neanderthals that live in the most remote areas of Russia and China.

On the same subject as Zama, i read some info about the Australian Aboriginies. Aparently when they first arrived in australia about half a million years ago they encountered a race of creatures already living on the island. The description of these people sound similar to neanderthals and the two different races went to war and the aboriginies won the war and the neanderthals retreated to the mountains and these are now called Yowies.. but i read on a webpage (dunno where it is now) some guy has a theory that the two races interbred and now the aboriginies in australia are a kind of half breed between homosapiens and neanderthals. Aparently his theorys have been either ridiculed or ignored and considered racist, but this guy says that it would explain the obvious physical differences such as thicker skulls and bones considering they suppost to have originated from asia. I dont consider this guys report to be racist and i would actually be quite proud if i had neanderthal bloodlines in my family... i am infact certain my wife has some in there you should see her eat :p j/k

Also to answer more of Xanatics post, Aparently relatives of Zana do still exist to this day and it would be interesting to go out there and find out more about this story, also her bones had been searched for but they couldnt be found. The did however find her sons bones and they were studied. The conclusion was that they showed slight similarities with neanderthal skeletons. I think the findings where ignored or kept quiet as im sure the findings would of shaken the world 50 years ago and i think it would still today. Im sure religion has something to do with keeping it quiet.
The political correctness of today is sure to stop a lot of scientific inquiry.

But imagine what happened in prehistoric times. All those different species running around in the world. Now does it seem plausible there was never any interbreeding causing hybrids?

We are of course not allowed to discuss this. Anyone who even mentions that people from Africa have darker skin can get in trouble it seems.

I have to say, to be honest I do find that the Aboriginals look like what you'd expect stone age people to do. It does seem to me they are physically quite different from other groups of humans.

There is also a group of people in Himalaya apparently who seems not to fit into any known groups of humans. Perhaps they have something to do with the Yetis. You never know.
Thanks Xanatic for the info about a the strange group of people in Himalayas. I will need to look further into this, anyone got a webpage with information about these people?? a link would be appreciated. Maybe these people could be a race of Almas human hybrids?

Also if there was indeed different species of "Humans" running about in prehistoric times i think the chances of them not interbreeding would be a zillion to one! i mean just watch the jerry springer show! i would rather have sex with a yowie than some of the hill billies that apear on that show! and what about these people who perform beastiality? somehow i think if you are prepared to have sexual relations with a quadruped you may be easily swayed over to the bipeds.. they offer a higher range of positions i should imagine :eek: I dont think humans are as picky when it comes to sex as we would hope and i think modern humans would have more morals and knowledge of sexually transmitted diseases that would perhaps dissuade them from performing these act.. i dont think cavemen where really to conserned about catching VD if they even knew what that itch they had was.

Therfor i think the possibilities of there being different human hybrid races existing on the world are very strong. However it has taken us thousands of years to discoved what similarities our different races hold without now concentrating on the differences, maybe these differences in heritage may drive even bigger wedges between certain groups even causing more hate than was there previously.. I guess we may never know, oh how i long for world peace etc :p
Xanatic said:
The political correctness of today is sure to stop a lot of scientific inquiry....

We are of course not allowed to discuss this. Anyone who even mentions that people from Africa have darker skin can get in trouble it seems.

I have to say, to be honest I do find that the Aboriginals look like what you'd expect stone age people to do. It does seem to me they are physically quite different from other groups of humans.

There have been a couple of TV progs here in UK in recent months that have examined racial differences. One point that was made about Australian abo's is that they have not only better eyesight that white australians, but also have a much better visual memory.
I don't think the Himalayans are hybrids. I will look up the info again if I can find it. But they didn't seem special enough.
The aboriginees description of another race inhabitting Australia b4 them probably refers to the ancestors of the (now extinct) ethnically distinct Tasmanians who it is believed arrived in Australia earlier. Victorian scientists did believe the Tasmanians to be halfway between primitive hominids and homo sapiens. They werent, but it made a good excuse for wiping them out and stealing their countryy. It was on this that Conan Doyle based the war between the modern humans and apemen in Lost World.
I just found a site regarding Zana and Alma where they talk about how the almas are supposed to have such long breasts that they have to be flung over the shoulder when running. I am quite certain that in nordic mythology there is a story of this troll woman who is all covered in har and has such long breasts she has to put them over her shoulder when running. Interesting.

Anatomically speaking Australian Aboriginees are, and Tasmanians were, completely human(modern). no genetic studies have shown any other influence on their genetic make up, The differences of perception and visual memory quoted are cultural factors (as the AA's were traditionally illiterate). The explaination of cultural factors as having genetic origin is one of the hallmarks of discredited and odious scientific racism.
"cultural factors as having genetic origin "

Well, isn't a cultural trait really defined as one that isn't genetical? But yeah, I haven't heard of any studies that have been done that have shown Aboriginals should be genetically that different.
The literal definition of species is a group of organisms that can interbreed and have fertile young.

If humans and neanderthals can interbreed and have fertile young then they are the same species, it is as simple as that.
That is the old definition. It is a bit more vague nowadays. There can for example be practical difficulties in getting two groups to mate even though they are the same species. And there has been instances where groups that we considered different species has mated. Zebra's and horses for example, but also a recent one where I think it was a tiger and a leopard. Which showed that there are probably many species that can theoretically mate but just haven't yet.
Breakfast said:
If humans and neanderthals can interbreed and have fertile young then they are the same species, it is as simple as that.

so a llama and a camel are the same species? they have been known to breed and have young..

About the abos in australia... the article in which i was referring to earlier speaks about how modern tests to determine if abos have a difference in genetic make up have been falseified in order to not segregate this race as a less evolved race from the rest of the world. I wouldnt put it past governments to change the truth in order to make the population think what they want them to think, but then again amybe these reports are true and they are justt he same.. maybe it was theyre issolation on australia that has made them evolve to look slightly different.. i guess we will never know for sure unless we go do the studies ourselves.
Is anybody wondering what it would be like to have sex with a 'wild woman' such as Zana?
rynner said:
tang-mallow said "About the abos in australia... the article in which i was referring to earlier speaks about how modern tests to determine if abos have a difference in genetic make up have been falseified in order to not segregate this race as a less evolved race from the rest of the world."

This is a racist comment in that it assumes levels of evolution.

this "racist" comment that i made was a reference to a webpage article that i had read and the ideas of what the guy thought about the whole buisness. When i said about the segregation of the race i was quoting this guy and what he thought the world would think about them if this information was ever released.. not mine.

If they did discover that the abos had neanderthal genes alot of people around the world would feel that they are less evolved and inferior to themselves.. i have had the pleasure of visiting australia and met many aboriginies and found them a facinating and friendly bunch.. i spent alot of time with an aboriginie guy that i met in a pub who also took me home for dinner several times and let me stay in his house.. he also gave me a traditional boomerang which is about 1 meter long and shaped like an L.. i tried to throw it but its really heavy. I know that this race is not less evolved.. its not as if the abos left australia 500,000 years ago to go on and develop into a different race while some stayed behind and stopped evolving... i do however think it is possible that they could have different genes or origins, perhaps just like the guy said in the webpage they could have neanderthal genes and homosapien genes.. the abos talk about going to war with the other race that inhabited australia 500,000 years ago so i dont think its highly impossible that this is the case.

and to the girls (notice only girls disagreeing with me?) asking "again" about what advantages women have in the work place.. please either reread my earlier posts or look up the topic on the internet, i have already gave a few examples.
How the hell would neeanderthals get to Australia? There is no fossil evidence for them east of Ukraine. I really dont think "abos" is an appropriate term to be using either, see how long a post referring to "niggers" or "pakis" would stay up here. The genetic specialisations developed by the AAs in response to their environment would not prevent a baby from any other human population living a full and successful life amongst them, nor would they stop an aboriginees living amongst any other populayion group successfully. The key to human success has been our "one size fits all" approach, using cultural specialisations rather than physical adaptions to respond to the varied environments we have encountered. If anyone has interbred with neeanderthals it is more likely to be europeans as we had the opportunity, that would explain why we look so different from other human populations.
See now you're just trying to mock us. Saying europeans look so different. The point was all the different races physiologically look quite the same. Except for aboriginals(which is a long word to write) and that is why it was them that was talked about.

I also think neandertals are mainly found in northern Europe. What would they be doing in australia? I expect the Yowie is more likely another species/race.

You can't say one race is more evolved than the other, but that is just quite a common way of looking at it. Seems to me it is caused by Christians. When we found out about evolution we still needed God in the picture somehow. So people talk about how God slowly shaped humans or what you might call it. That the whole of Evolution was God slowly bettering the species untill he finally reached the ideal, Man.(non gender specific Man of course)

And that idea gives all that ladder of evolution stuff. I also think if some race was shown to have been a hybrid between Homo Sapiens and Neanderthal that would make people see them as being less human. But then again, being human is not as well defined as we would like to think. It is more a matter of habit than anything else.

Now let's open another thread and talk about the other kind of wild women.
What about the guy from the Epic of Gilgamesh? He was living like an animal and then turned human. Or Saul(or so) in the Bible.

So am I the only one that doesn't like the name Zana? Sounds like a name she would have if she was in a cheap B-movie. Why not call her Ursula or so?
... And about europeans breeding with neanderthals, there has actually been a skeleton of a child estimated to be 7 years old that has the skull and leg bones of a neanderthal and the upper body of a homosapien so the possibility that the europeans interbred is high but there has yet to be evidence of this found in modern europeans. Also just because there has been no fossils of neanderthals east of the ukraine doesnt mean that they never ventured further (you are on a fortean mesage board, please try to have a more open mind)

So am I the only one that doesn't like the name Zana? Sounds like a name she would have if she was in a cheap B-movie. Why not call her Ursula or so?

Yeah the name does sound strange but dont forget it was russia and you will probably find out that Zana means something.. maybe its the russian word for crazy as Zana had to be left in a cage for 2 years before she would let people near her.. she ended up letting people to near her me thinks. And you also mentioned earlier about the similarities with Zana and the early european storys of trolls, i had heard of a guy who wrote a book in which he talks about his theory of how Trolls and neanderthals could possibly be linked and that these creatures never died out 10,000 years ago and could actually be still alive.


Take a look at the above picture.. it is an Alma, i think these are the creatures that have been reported to throw theyre breasts over theyre shoulders as the run just like the troll u mentioned earlier. The guy that had sex with Zana must of been pretty desperate.. either that or he was drunk.

There also has been storys of male Almas raping human females and human males. There was one story i read about a man being dragged into an Alma lair where a male alma raped him for 3 days and when it finally came out to get food the mans friends shot it and killed it. The went and got theyre friend who was shaking half naked in the corner of the cave and then took him home. The man never spoke after his incident and would sit in his house just staring at the wall until he finally died 3 days later. I think there has also been reports of women being raped by chimps in Africa so the possibility of this happening is quite strong i should imagine... i wonder if almas practice safe sex
Back to Zana. We make to much of the differing appearance of humans. All human DNA sequences vary by less than 1/10th of 1% from each other (source GlaxoWelcome) I believe dogs vary by up to 1.5%. Recently recovered Mitochondrial DNA from Neanderthal remains show significant differences between us and them, perhaps enough to render interbreeding nearly impossible and possibly dangerous.
Yeah, the idea that trolls might have been neandertals is an old one. I don't know if there is any reason to believe it. But the creature I mentioned make it interesting if there were any almas around when the vikings were around. I only called it troll for lack of better word. Heyerdahl recently came with a theory that Odin was actually a russian king that fled to scandinavia. Interesting if some stories was brought with them

I think the yowie could just be another species of primate, not necessarily a neandertal one.

Humans being raped by chimps? I can imagine it happening but I haven't heard of it. I have heard of a rowdy dolphins though, which I found very funny.

That guy in the cave, how do you know he was raped if he never talked about it? I have read the story and the guy as you said didn't mention it and died 3 days later. So it is only guesswork. I'd say it is probably what could have happened, but we can't know.

I haven't heard that there should have been found any fossil hybrids. Also the specimen you mention sounds suspicious. Sounds like the old idea of evolution. That evolution happened basically a limb at a time. If we found a human/neandertal hybrid it would look like a morph between them I'd think. Not like a puzzle made wrong.
I remeber from "the Neanderthals" on BBC that there was some evidence of human/neanderthal interbreeding from the skeleton of a bairn found in Portugal (dated 8000BC when neanderthals should have well been history) The skeleton was human but with many neanderthal features. The idea of "others" trolls/elves/woodwoses is interesting in terms of how many cultures it appears in. I think the memory of other races is the origin of this.

Also just because there has been no fossils of neanderthals east of the ukraine doesnt mean that they never ventured further (you are on a fortean mesage board, please try to have a more open mind)

We investigate that which is not proved but suspected, there is no reason to suspect neanderthals have anything to do with AAs they are geographically thousands of miles apart. Neanderthals were physically adapted to the conditions of ice-age Eurasia, why would they cross both tropics to by wiped out without any archaelogical trace? Were the AAs like St Patrick? not only did he chase the snakes out of Ireland he chased them out of the entire archaelogical record.

I would love the Zana tale to be true but I think its probably 10000 years late.
Don't forget St Patrick was a saint, and we all know how God loves to mess with the fossil record.

Zana is not proven false because there are no neandertals in Russia. Or Australia, where ever you meant. She could be some other kind of creature. Still a Homo but another one. Or a primate. But investigations first of course.
The neanderthal/aboriginee connection pissed me off as ive just finished reading a book called English Passengers which is about the genocide practiced on the Tasmanians by Europeans, soz 4 getting a bit fixated. The Zana thing is an old story that doesnt feel true (its in an old Arthur C Clarke world of the Unexplained type book). The survival of mystery hominids theory still has no physical evidence supporting it anywhere and makes most sense explained as folklore and folk memory or mistaken identity. I believe in a lot of things that arent proven but until you show me physical evidence for mystery hominids(orang pendek excluded) i arent buying it. I would love it if we were sharing this planet with planet with "others" but the Zena story seems an exagerated version of a "Wolfboy" story. She was probably a mentally defective indivdual who grew up in the backwoods and was adopted by the community, thru oral tradition her legend grew and she became a strange half man/half beast thing. Witness some of the stories told in Central Asia about Stalin and Alexander the Great, both are made into supernatural beings by oral tradition.
I think this Red-Heads = Neanderthal idea is a bit old and comes from the early inference that celts were the earliest inhabitants of UK and Eire. Isn't there a Sherlock Holmes story that mentions it in passing? The Erse legends certainly say that before men came to the inhabitants were the tuatha de Danaan who were tall and fair (of face) but that they had displaced the Fir Bolg who were short and dark.

A bit of synchronicity in this reply, about 5 mins ago I mentioned the Fir Bolg in a reply to Helen
Looking for pic's of Zana's kids

A month or two ago I had a library book on mysterious creatures. In it it had a section devoted to who today is called "Zana the ape woman" -- she was an Almas. On one page there was a large color photograph of a scientist holding the skull of a person who, the locals said, was Zana's child or grandchild. The scientist was Caucasoid with short or balding hair. The skull had a large brow ridge, a sloping forehead and a large jaw bone. Does anyone know where I can find this photograph on the web?