YAJUR-VEDA, yn'jnr-vfi'dn (Skt., Veda of sacrifice). The name of the third Veda. See VEDA.
YAK (Tibetan gyak, gyag). A species of ox (Pcephagus yeanniens) found in Tibet, and domesticated there. The wild yak of Central Asia is found only near the limits of perpetual snow, descending into the higher wooded valleys in winter, and ascending in summer to the pas tures of short grass and sedges, sonic of which are at an elevation of 17,000 feet above the sea. it is limited by large dogs, and is very fierce, falling upon au adversary not only with its horns, but with its chest, and crushing him by its weight. It is generally black. The yak has been domesticated from time immemorial, and forms a great part of the wealth of the inhabi tants of the highest and coldest regions of Cen tral Asia. The domesticated yak is about the height of an ordinary ox, which it much resem bles also in figure of body, head, and legs. It is covered all over, however, with a thick coat of long silky hair, hanging down like the fleece of a sheep. The head is rather short ; the eyes large and beautiful ; the horns not very large, spread ing, tapering from the base, a little turned back at the tips, a space between them on the fore head covered with a mass of curling hair. The neck is short ; the withers high and arched; the rump is low; the legs are short. Over the shoul ders there appears a bunch somewhat like that of the zebu, but it consists only of long hair. The
tail is covered with a large quantity of long flowing hair, descending to the hock. Black and white are the most prevalent colors.
The yak does not low like an ox. but utters a short grunting sound like a pig, as the expression both of uneasiness and of satisfaction. Its milk is very rich, and the curd made of it is much used by the Tibetans. both fresh and dried, often powdered into a kind of meal. The butter made from yak-milk is excellent, is preserved for a long time in the dry and cold climate of Tibet in bladders, and is an important article of com merce. The flesh of the yak is of the finest qual ity, and is often dried in the sun and eaten raw'. The yak is never used for tillage or draught, but is very much employed as a beast of burden, and travels at a slow pace, twenty miles a day, where no other beast of burden could well be employed. The hair is spoil into ropes, and made into coverings for tents. The soft fur on the hump and shoulders is woven into a fine and strong cloth. Caps, jackets, cloaks, and blankets are made of the skin with the hair on. The tails are the el/curries, or fly-flappers. used in all parts of India, and are to be seen par t ieularly on all occasions of state and parade. Consult Lydchker, Mild arcn, Shrrp. and (loafs (London, 1898). See Plate of Witt) CATTLE.