The quinametzin, the race of giants that inhabited Mexico

Chronicles of evangelizers in New Spain and New Spanish historians tell that in ancient times there were giants in what is now known as Mexico. They were called quinametzin, a term used in Mesoamerican mythology for people of great height.

In Aztec cosmogony, the quinametzin inhabited the era of Atonatiuh, the Sun of water in Mexica mythology, which ended with flooding. Image: Youtube
In Aztec cosmogony, the quinametzin inhabited the era of Atonatiuh, the Sun of water in Mexica mythology, which ended with flooding. Image: Youtube

After the conquest, very large bones were found. A story by friar Andrés de Olmos, famous for his work as a Náhuatl, Huasteco and Totonaco philologist, tells that in the palace of the first viceroy of New Spain, Antonio de Mendoza, bones of a human foot were found where each toe measured almost the palm of a hand.

De Olmos was born in Spain at the end of the 15th century and lived in New Spain between 1528 and 1571. The friar wrote about semi giants in his time in what is now Cuernavaca, Morelos and in Tecalli, Puebla.

The word quinametzin is the plural of quinametli and is translated into Spanish as Gigante. It is also the name with which various authors have baptized the first inhabitants of Mexico.

In the Codex Zumarraga explains that for the indigenous people, the giants were created by the gods and perished in the catastrophe of Atonatiuh, a supposed great flood in the mountainous area of Tlaxcala.

But this is a mythical and even metaphorical way of saying it, as further research indicates that the quinametzin were destroyed by a group of merchants from the coast who fought for the power and land they inhabited.

The novo Hispanic historians refer that they were destroyed by the Olmec-xicalanca, who arrived in Tlaxcala after 200 B.C. approximately.

The group came from somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico, were merchants and populated the valleys and mountains of Tlaxcala, Huejotzingo, and Cholula. The New Spanish historian Mariano Veytia tells that when they occupied the banks of Atoyac, the Olmec-xicalancas found themselves with naked and disheveled giants that hunted birds and land animals and ate wild fruits and herbs.

According to Veytia, in 107 AD, the Olmec-xicalancas paid tribute to the quinametzin, until they were fed up and set up a trap to kill them. They prepared a banquet in their honor and waited for them to be drunk to kill them all.

The Giants appeared in several codices of friars: in the one of San Juan de Zumárraga, the Florentine (directed by Bernardino de Sahagún) or the one of Vatican; and in writings of Fray Andrés Olmos or fray Diego Durán.

The friars sought explanations for the large buildings dedicated to the indigenous gods. According to the magazine of Mexican Archaeology, the evangelizers attributed the construction to the largest pyramids, such as Cholula, to the giants.

The Bible gave them the idea that the creators of these great buildings could be beings similar to those described in biblical passages: the Goliath that David fights against or other stories where a person's triumph is enhanced by defeating superior individuals in size and strength, explains the publication.

Until now there are no known cases of entire groups that had that pattern in their stature. The bones found by conquerors in Tlaxcala and by De Olmos in the palace of Viceroy Mendoza were of animals, only that the paleontology of the sixteenth century was not so advanced to realize that they were not human fossils.

By Agencies

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