The Lost Treasures of
One of the legendary places in this world that has kept me fascinated is located somewhere in
All are pleasantly present in the infamous
Within fifty years of
The lake appears mystical, mirror-calm, a perfect circle, surrounded by uniform, barren hills. The legend supplies the bottom of the lake with unimaginable treasures dumped there by the ancient Muisca to whom the lake was sacred. They believed that the spirit of a former chieftain’s wife lived in the lake, bound there by a terrible monster.
A peculiar ritual on the lake was part of the acknowledgment of a new king. An ancient eye-witness account describes the proceedings:
"The first journey [the new king] had to make was to go to the great lagoon of Guatavita, to make offering and sacrifices to the demon which they worshipped as their god and lord. During the ceremony which took place at the lagoon, they made a raft of rushes, embellishing and decorating it with the most attractive things they had.
They put on it four lighted braziers in which they burned much moque, which is the incense of these natives, and also resin and many other perfumes. The l agoon was large and deep, so that a ship with high sides could sail on it, all loaded with an infinity of men and women dressed in fine plumes, golden plaques and crowns . . .
At this time they stripped the heir to his skin and anointed him with a sticky earth on which they placed gold dust so that he was completely covered with this metal. They placed him on the raft on which he remained motionless, and at his feet they placed a great heap of gold and emeralds for him to offer to his god. On the raft with him went four principal chiefs, decked in plumes, crowns, bracelets, pendants, and earrings all of gold. They, too, were naked and each one carried his offering.
As the raft left the shore the music began, with trumpets, flutes and other instruments, and with singing which shook the mountains and valleys, until, when the raft reached the center of the lagoon, they raised a banner as a signal for silence.
The gilded Indian then made his offering, throwing out all the pile of gold into the middle of the lake and the chiefs who had accompanied him did the same on their accounts. With this ceremony, the new ruler was received, and was recognized as lord and king.”
This account of the ceremony of
It was not too long after these expeditions that the story of
Sir Walter Raleigh, who is perhaps the best known of these dreamers, also lost his life in quest of the legendary Manoa. When his second expedition failed in 1618, he was executed on the order of
Soon the Golden Man faded from memory, but the place for wealth unknown continued to live and assumed the name Eldorado. For the next two centuries the expeditions continued in the
Kemo D. (a.k.a. no.7)