100 Years ago, the Champawat Tiger attacked and killed 436 villagers in India and Nepal. Manik Nakra has taken on the project of documenting all 436 tiger attacks with watercolor drawings. He put them on tumblr: www.thetigering.tumblr.com. The project is called: "THE TIGERING!"
The Champawat Tiger was a legendary female Bengal tiger responsible for an estimated 436 deaths in Nepal and the Kumaon area of India, mostly during the 19th century.
After killing over 200 people in Nepal, the tigeress was driven by the Nepalese Army across the border (river Sarda) into India, where she continued her massacring in the Kumaon District. A maneater so fearless, all her killings occurred during the daytime.
The tigress was finally shot in 1907 by a British colonel born in India named Jim Corbett, a dramatic feat confirmed by about 300 villagers. Since then, Corbett has been elevated to the level of a sadhu(saint) in the region and a monument has been constructed at the tigress death site. When India broke free of colonial rule in 1947, they opened their first national park, Jim Corbett National Park.
In January 2012, after reading this story in Man-Eaters of Kumaon (a journal kept by Jim Corbett), I began a project documenting all 436 tiger attacks.
Why? Because its fucking badass. But along the way it turned into an installation about modernizing identities and an allegory for the messy and maddening road to progress in India. All drawings are watercolor and gouache on paper, 12in x 16in (30.4cm x 40.6cm)
The tiger began her attacks in a region of Nepal close to the Himalayas during the late 19th century, with people being ambushed by the dozens as they walked through the jungle. Hunters were sent in to kill the tiger, but she managed to evade them. Eventually, the Nepalese Army was called in. Despite failing to capture or kill the tiger, soldiers managed to force the tiger to abandon her territory and drive her across the border (river Sarda) into India, where she continued her killing activities in the Kumaon District. She eventually grew bolder, and began killing people in broad daylight and prowling around villages. Life across the region grew paralyzed, with men often refusing to leave their huts for work after hearing the tiger's roars from the forest.
In 1907, the tiger was killed by British hunter Jim Corbett. The tiger killed a 16 year-old girl in the town of Champawat, and left a trail of blood and limbs, which Corbett followed. Corbett found the tiger and shot her dead the next day, a dramatic feat confirmed by about 300 villagers. A postmortem on the tigress showed the upper and lower canine teeth on the right side of her mouth were broken, the upper one in half, the lower one right down to the bone. This injury, according to Corbett, probably prevented her from hunting her natural prey.
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