Discoveries Of Giants Have Been Reported in Mexico
Discoveries of giants have also been reported in Mexico. The Dominican friar Diego Durán is responsible for writing some of the earliest...
Discoveries of giants have also been reported in Mexico. The Dominican friar Diego Durán is responsible for writing some of the earliest Western books on the history and culture of the Aztecs. His family moved from Spain to Mexico City when he was very young, which allowed him to grow up around the remaining natives of Mexico. While attending school he was frequently exposed to Aztec culture, then under the colonial rule of Spain. He continued to study and travel within the remaining city-states of the Aztec empire. In Texcoco he learned to speak and read the native Nahuatl Aztec language. By winning the Aztecs’ trust, he was able to gain access to a vast amount of knowledge concerning the history of pre-Columbian Mexico.
His writings are some of the oldest known surviving texts that give us actual firsthand narratives from the ancient Aztecs. Because he spent thirty-two years among the Aztecs gathering information, learning how to read ancient native hieroglyphics, and interviewing old shamans, scholars regard Durán’s work as extremely important. In The History of the Indies of New Spain, he exhaustively describes the history of Mexico from its mysterious ancient origins up to conquest and occupation by the Spaniards. In these writings the Aztecs were not shy when it came to talking about giants. But Durán didn’t need to hear or read about them, he could see them. While living in Mexico he came in contact with giant Indians on several occasions. Writing about these encounters, he says emphatically:
It cannot be denied that there have been giants in this country. I can affirm this as an eyewitness, for I have met men of monstrous stature here. I believe that there are many in Mexico who will remember, as I do, a giant Indian who appeared in a procession of the feast of Corpus Christi. He appeared dressed in yellow silk and a halberd at his shoulder and a helmet on his head. And he was all of three feet taller than the others.
During his thirty-two years among the Aztecs, Duran also interviewed many old Indians knowledgeable in the ancient ways and traditions of their people. From all these sources he learned about the giants. Bernardino de Sahagun and Joseph de Acosta, two other notable historians of about the same period, also knew about a tribe of giants who once occupied central Mexico, but Duran's book offers us the best and most complete account. Duran writes that, according to the Aztecs, the giants and a bestial people of average size once had this land all to themselves. Then, in A.D. 902, six tribes of people from Teocolhuacan, which "is found toward the north and near the region of La Florida," began arriving in Mexico. They soon took possession of the country. These six kindred tribes included the Xochimilca, the Chalca, the Tecpanec, the Colhua, the Tlalhuica, and the Tlaxcalans. A seventh tribe, the Aztecs, were brothers to these people, but they "came to live here three hundred and one years after the arrival of the others." When these six tribes had settled, Duran continues, "they recorded in their painted books the type of land and kind of people they found here.
These books show two types of people, one from the west of the snow-covered mountains toward Mexico, and the other on the east, where Puebla and Cholula are found. Those from the first region were Chichimecs and the people from Puebla and Cholula were 'The Giants,' the Quiname, which means 'men of great stature.' "The few Chichimecs on the side of Mexico were brutal, savage men, and they were called Chichimecs because they were hunters. They lived among the peaks and in the harshest places of the mountain where they led a bestial existence. They had no human organization but hunted food like the beasts of the same mountain, and went stark naked without any covering on their private parts....When the new nations came, these savage people showed no resistance or anger, but rather awe. They fled towards the hills, hiding themselves there.... The newly arrived people seeing, then, that the land was left unoccupied, chose at will the best places to live in. The other people who were found in Tlaxcala and Cholula and Huexotzinco are said to have been 'Giants.' These were enraged at the coming of the invaders and tried to defend their land.