Was North America once inhabited by a race of cannibalistic giants? According to an old legend supported by several challenging archaeological finds, this unnerving scenario is possible.
Many Native American tribes tell stories about the long-forgotten existence of a race of humans that were much taller and stronger than ordinary men. These giants are described as both brave and barbaric and legends often mention their cruelty towards whomever they pleased.
The Paiute, a tribe that settled in the Nevada region thousands of years ago, have an outstanding legend about a race of red-haired giants called the Si-Te-Cah. The ancestors of the Paiute described them as savage and inhospitable cannibals.
In the Northern Paiute language, ‘Si-Te-Cah’ literally means ‘tule-eaters.’ Legend has it that the giants came from a distant island by crossing the ocean on rafts built using the fibrous tule plant.
As odd as it may sound, this legend repeats itself all over the Americas, suggesting it might be an incomplete chronicle of a real event that happened long ago.
In Crónicas del Perú, sixteenth century Spanish conquistador Pedro Cieza de León recorded an ancient Peruvian tale about the origin of the South American giants. According to legend, they “came by sea in rafts of reeds after the manner of large boats; some of the men were so tall that from the knee down they were as big as the length of an ordinary fair-sized man.”
Could the giants of Peru and the Si-Te-Cah have been survivors of a massive cataclysm who took refuge on the American continent?
Legend tells that the Si-Te-Cah waged war on the Paiute and all other neighboring tribes, spreading terror and devastation. Finally, after years of conflict, the tribes united against their common enemy and began to decimate them. The last remaining red-haired giants were chased off and sought shelter inside a cave. With retribution in their minds, the tribes started a fire at the cave entrance, suffocating and burning the Si-Te-Cah alive. Those driven out by the smoke were also killed.
The tribes then sealed off the mouth of the cave so that no one might set eyes on those who had once plagued their land. They were all but forgotten until a random event brought them back to light.
In 1886, a mining engineer named John T. Reid happened to hear the legend from a group of Paiutes while prospecting near Lovelock, Nevada. The Indians told him that the legend was real and the cave was located nearby. When he saw the cave for himself, Reid knew he was onto something.