Monday, December 5, 2011

The legend of El Dorado

A city made of gold with a king who is also bersalutkan gold dust, the legend of El Dorado has become one of the most interesting legends to tell. Many people say that this legend is just an imagination, but actually some of the secrets of El Dorado has arguably unfold and Guatavita lake is one of them.
This brief story about El Dorado.

When Christopher Columbus discovered the American continent, the story about the new world that is rich in gold to Europe. Not long after, the Spanish conquerors started to go into Central and South American civilizations including the Aztecs and Incas.

Francisco Pizarro (1475-1541), who managed to conquer the wealthy Inca civilization in 1530an believe that elsewhere in the continent is still kept hidden wealth of great value.It did not take long for him to get confirmation on this.

Not long after the conquest of it, a messenger came from an unknown tribe in Peru, the Inca empire, with a message to the King Inca. These messenger did not know that the Inca empire was conquered by Pizarro.

After being interrogated by Spanish soldiers, the messenger said that he is a member of one tribe in the area of ​​Bogota. Interestingly, this messenger also tells of a kingdom other in the same area where the king covered with gold dust and gold swimming in the lake.

The legend that they heard this was later called El Dorado which means "Man of Gold plated".

Interested to get more gold, the conquerors of Spain was then sent at least five major expeditions to find El Dorado.

One of the expedition sent was the expedition led by Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada who left in 1536.

Together with 500 soldiers, he entered into the dense jungle which now includes the Columbia area.
After exploring a while and find a variety of obstacles, Quesada and his team found Chibca wealthy tribes. However, they do not meet the king of gold and gold lakes are sought.

However, the tribe told Quesada of a mysterious lake in the crater of the mountain in the highlands of the Andes in Bogota called Guatavita. According to them, every year, on the lake, a mysterious ceremony performed by local tribes who named Muisca as offerings to their gods.

The king, who also called Zipa, will be covered with the mud which is then coated again with gold dust. After that, he and other tribal elders will paddle rafts that contain gold, silver and other jewelry until the middle of the lake.

Having reached the middle, they would throw gold into the silver lake. Then the king will plunge into the lake to cleanse his body of gold dust and mud that covered his body.

Hearing the story of this remarkable, Quesada decided to look for El Dorado.

He could not find the Muisca tribe or the city of gold in question, but he managed to find a lake Guatavita.

When this discovery was announced to Spain, an attempt was made to dredge the lake in 1545. This effort was led by Hernan Perez de Quesada, brother of Jimenez de Quesada.

Quesada uses workers to drain the lake with giant buckets. After three months, the level of the lake water level dropped about 3 feet and Quesada managed to get 18 kilograms of gold from it.

In 1580an, a merchant of Bogota named Antonio de Sepulvada mobilized 8000 local residents in an attempt to drain the lake by way of making the doors on the side of the lake water. He managed to lower the lake's surface to 20 meters.

In this way he managed to find gold in large enough quantities. But then the side of the lake collapsed, killing many workers. The project was later canceled.

Today, we still can see the cut side of the lake, the remnants of the work done by Sepulvada.

In subsequent years, the ambition of Europeans to find El Dorado reappears when a mysterious man named Juan Martinez tells of a golden city called Manoa. This city could be related to the legend of El Dorado, but could not. To be sure, Europeans increasingly believe that the wealth of Americas store in bulk.

Martinez told me that he was a supervisor of ammunition in a Spanish ship that explore the Caroni river that connects with the Orinoco River. Their boats up the river to explore deep into the wilderness. However, the powder magazine exploded supervised so that this exploration was canceled. As punishment for Martinez, he left the river with a canoe.

Then, Martinez claimed to meet with a group of friendly Indian tribes. They close their eyes Martinez with a cloth and took him to their kingdom, called Manoa. Martinez said that he visited the Palace of the king of Manoa was made of gold.

In 1586, this story reached the ears of Sir Walter Raleigh, a famous explorer who had founded the colony of Roanoke Island is legendary.

In 1595, Raleigh sailed with his colleagues explore the Orinoco river in South America in order to find Manoa. However, the expedition was not producing anything. Interestingly, they found a Spanish Ship Anchors Martinez, who left when there was an explosion on board. So, there are at least part of the story credible Martinez.

Although not find the kingdom of gold Manoa, Raleigh brought many samples of the exotic flora and fauna as well as a beautiful stone that indicates the existence of extraordinary natural wealth of the place. Raleigh even wrote a book on this exploration.

Raleigh himself believed that the city is actually located in the Manoa area Parime lake in the mountains behind the Guyana region. He even provides a highly accurate map of the location of this wialayah.

In 1618, Raleigh returned to eskpedisi menemuan second to the city with the cost of the British Empire. However, this expedition also failed to bring results.

The story of El Dorado does not stop in the Middle Ages only. The explorers centuries later still trying to find the city of gold. However, attention to the lake Guatavita never subsided.

In 1911, a manufacturer of gold back to try his luck on the lake Guatavita. They succeeded in removing most of the lake water by making water tunnel and the door. However, the lake's mud and rain immediately hardens immediately meets the lake again. They only found some gold objects are then auctioned off to pay its investors.

In subsequent years, interest in looking for El Dorado seems to be reduced. Most people begin to think that El Dorado may be just a legend. In fact there is one opinion that says that the Indians who told him about the El Dorado may have been lied to divert the attention of the conquerors of their village.

However, a big clue came in 1969.

Two workers were digging in a small cave near Bogota accidentally discovered a gold statue. The statue is shaped raft with figures chiefs and eight men who were riding on it.

The form of this sculpture soon reminded the researchers with the ritual of El Dorado who has been told for hundreds of years. So, the legend was true.

El Dorado is there.

However, researchers from Los Andes University named Carl Langebaek have their own opinion. According to him, El Dorado may be simply a product of the imaginations of explorers. He said:

"El Dorado will never be found. The people will always look for gold in the most unlikely ones. It does not matter even if they find a palace of gold though, there is always a reason to look for another El Dorado."

Today, Lake Guatavita looks lonely. Tourists rarely even plasticity. Some time ago, the Government decided to close the Columbia area because people often throw rubbish into it or wash the car in there.

Currently there is only one officer stationed to oversee the overseers of the lake. Jamie Beltran, the superintendent believes that the lake was save the secret of El Dorado.

"I am sure, the gold of El Dorado is in there." He said, looking calm lake water.

What is believed by Beltran is also believed by many others. But, could one day Guatavita lake will open the secret?


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