Thursday, February 4, 2010

Ages Undreamed Of vol. 4 Giants of old Mexico

This particular post relates directly to the previous in the sense of inspiration for that particular story-or at least a facet of it. I usually try to have a pic of some type of evidence relating to my points but this time all I have are pic's of pic's, the best I can do for the moment.

In part because nobody has photo's from the Spanish conquest just drawings usually referred to as Codex's. And here is a doozy.Seems if you have a giant in your neighborhood you had best kill it-because they only cause problems. Not merely content to just rope this guy up, they also hit him in the eye with something and disemboweled him. Rough. Note that the giant has a name near him, the text reads Quinametzin, one of the old ones, as I had the urinating slave boy tell Madoc in the story. The name next to the men roping him is Tolteca/Tulan. These were the people that just preceded the Aztecs-so this denotes something that happened in the years before them. But wait...

My apologies to any giants who may be reading this.Know, Oh Reader, that between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the rise of the sons of Cortez...wait getting ahead of myself.During the Spanish invasion of Aztec Mexico such wild and legendary things couldn't have happened could they? Giants didn't still walk the earth did they? Apparently they did. According to the translated Aztec accounts of the invasion, contained in the fascinating The Broken Spears edited by Miguel Leon-Portilla, one of the Aztec hero's Tzilacatzin, was a giant.

According to the Aztec sources, when the Conquistadors first entered Tenochtitlan with hostile intent, it was Tzilacatzin who with three large stones (it says the kind they built walls out of-whatever that means) threw them at the Spaniards chasing them out of the city.

The text says Tzilacatzin was a great captain and that he was an Otomi, and that he wore his hair in the style of the Otomi's. Portilla makes this sound like its a military rank-but the Otomi were a tribe distinct from the Aztec, by all accounts very similar people but they considered themselves different. Kind of like New Yorkers and Staten Islanders. I find it much more likely that Tzilacatzin did his hair after the manner of his tribe (likely serving as mercenaries) than after a particular rank-but you never know.The codex's go on to say that Tzilacatzin frightened the Spaniards to such a degree that he became a priority to kill. They did not succeed at least that first day. The giant and others were able to keep them out of the city until nightfall when the Spaniards retreated. No more word of Tzilacatzin is mentioned after this initial battle for the city-which we know the Spaniards eventually won. There is no mention of Tzialcatzin falling but based upon his character thus far and his defensive attitude, I find it unlikely he survived the fall of the city.Why was he never mentioned by the Spanish? I don't know, perhaps he was too horrific to be believed or maybe you just don't wanna talk about the guy that made you wet yourself even after you kill him.

Why wasn't his fate mentioned by the Aztec's? Hard to say, perhaps because he was an Otomi (mercenary) he wasn't worthy of mention.(unlikely I know)
Possibly the Spaniards forbade speaking of him-they forbade the cultivation and use of Amaranth for quite some time.

Or maybe a part of us doesn't want to know how legends die.

14 comments:

M. Gray said...

This is a really interesting post, David. I love how you've tied your writing to forgotten history. You make me feel sorry for giants. Now I would never want to be one! You could never hide and would always be expected to be a warrior.

Charles Gramlich said...

Sure would be cool to know more. I read things like this and wish for a time machine so I could go back and observe such events and find out the truth.

Krista said...

This is very interesting. I studied a little about Tenochtitlan in Mexico City and finding more is fascinating. Thanks!

L.A. DeVaul said...

What if they weren't really giants? What if everyone else was just a midget? What if that giant was only 5'3"?

David J. West said...

Mary-
yep I think thats more than half the reason they're gone. war has a way of thinningthe gene pool.

Charles-
Krista-
I would recomend The Broken Spears because it is another side of the story from the defeated point of view. I borrowed a lot from it for my own novel-portents in the sky-the aura of doom hanging over a people-the clash of differing cultures and ethics, etc.

L.A.-
5'3" BURN! You cut me to the quick.

Th. said...

.

Fascinating.

David J. West said...

Thanks TH.

goodgame77 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Morgan Ives said...

Fascinating. People who read your blog will never have to ask you that annoying question, "where do you get your ideas?" It makes me wonder if this was gigantism in the modern medical sense, or if something else caused these huge people?

David J. West said...

My research indicates that there were so many people of exceptional size-7, 8, 9 feet or better, that I am not inclined to think of it as gigantism.

For instance, no one with gigantism in recorded history would be classified as a formidable warrior.

But nearly all cultures worldwide mention BIG people that threatened them. Some may be perspective-such as the Germaninans towered over Romans. And even Native Americans were generally taller than say the Pilgrims-but a taller tribe that is now extinct were the Susquahanocks (for whom the river is named) who according to John Smith and other early explorers stood on average 7 feet tall some much taller.

So I dont think a chaotic pituitary covers all our bases.

Kimberly said...

I feel a sudden desire to slouch...

Gruesome yet fascinating post, David!

David J. West said...

Thanks all.

I don't recall Kim-its been almost a year-are you that tall?

Kessee said...

Nice. Goliath could be thrown into the mix somewhere. Bible dictionary mentions, Anakim, etc.

It's the 6 fingers / double set of teeth that intrigues me on this stuff. Red hair was a trait for some they found in Arizona / Nevada etc.

Fascinating stuff.

David J. West said...

Yeah, you're preaching to the choir on that stuff.