Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Stature of the Jaredites – Part II

Continuing from the last post in discussing the legends and myths of giants in the land:

Now, when these “large and mighty men of great strength” landed in the Land Northward, they would have left an impression on the land, that generations later, would have been immortalized by peoples who would come later because of their great size and strength. Their bones were scattered all over the land (Ether 11:6; Mosiah 8:8), the ruins of their buildings of all types remained for some time (Mosiah 8:8).

So do we find anywhere that “giants” or men of great size, left such an impression in legends and myths that were handed down by later native peoples?
Interestingly enough, there is such a legend of some antiquity in the area of present day Ecuador, which would be the Land Northward of the Andean area. The knowledge of this ancient Ecuadorian history is relatively unknown except for legends and myths handed down through generations and ultimately recorded by the Spanish invaders beginning in the 16th century A.D. Diego de Almagro, also known as El Adelantado and El Viejo (The Elder), was a Spanish conquistador and a companion and later rival of Francisco Pizarro.
He participated in the Spanish conquest of Peru and is credited as the first European discoverer of Chile. He later recorded histories and events of the Andean past and, among other numerous writers, interviewed hundreds of different Indian groups, each found that all seemed to have an interesting legend about the area of Ecuador just north of the Bay of Guayaquil (the narrow neck of land).

This area is the Point of Santa Elena along the tip of a barren peninsula that juts out into the Pacific just north of the Bay and is the furthest western-most point along the entire coast of South America.
This area has very old legends that claim a race of giants came ashore before man lived in this north country that has white beaches and warm water, and plenty of marine life to sustain large numbers of people. The legends claim the “giants” settled there in the third-millenium B.C. The north side of this point slopes eastward and northward forming the Bay of Manta where the Jaredites barges could have drifted ashore. Certainly, this point would have been the last possible area any undersea current (Humboldt Current) would have brought submersible barges ashore—behond here, all Pacific currents sweep on out to sea, westward, forming the northern branch of the South Equatorial Current gyre that heads for Indonesia before seeping south along the east coast of Australia, and picks up the Southern Current coming back westward.

The traditions of “giants” were universal among the Indians at the time of the Spanish conquest, and in one form or another, were recorded by all historian writers of the time. According to their findings, “giants” landed on the Ecuadorian coast in Santa Elena Point, disembarking from large boats, and that men of great stature inhabited the land at this point.

These legends, the Spanish believed, were likely the stories that had their origin in the far distant past, from the advent of some warlike people who arrived in craft of some nature and overran the land. These “giants” were evidently superior in intelligence and culture to the later natives, bellicose and conquering, and they rapidly covered the territory of the barbarians of the district, and, according to Velasco, the native historian of Ecuador, their history was wrapped in speculation and obscurity, and their migration uncertain. Yet, all Indian tribes of Ecuador had such an ancient legend of such “giants” landing and spreading across the land.

The ancient Greeks had legends regarding a great flood, referring to it as the Great or Heliacal Year of the Cataclysm or Great Deluge, in which they claimed that giants escaped the deluge and founded ancient Babylon, building the sky-towers of ancient Babylon, that is, the Tower of Babel.

(See the next post, “The Stature of the Jaredites – Part III,” for the continuation of this subject about the Jaredites and where they landed based on legends and myths of giants in the land)

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