Gathered here is a collection and analysis of various accounts of giants throughout history. It is part of a smaller series within our larger series regarding the existence of giants
History lies at the mercy of the winners, and what we’ve come to know of it today is, unfortunately, what the winners have decided it should appear as. When you conquer a group of people, you get full control over their records and history, and as such, then get to decide what their history will then look like from that point on: libraries are burned, scholars are killed, temples defaced, etc, etc. Though it still remains difficult to wipe all traces of certain grand happenings from the annals of history, and that’s where the stories of giants continue to seep through via various cultures’ passed down traditions. And it’s those stories we’ll be examining here in an effort to glimpse what it is in the past that ancient cultures all throughout the world are trying to tell us about which has largely been erased. Here we’ll be looking at giants, and what the truth is behind their pervasive legacy.
When examining accounts throughout history, you often find yourself drifting from the real to what seems to be imaginings.
To elaborate, you stumble across a lot of bizarre phenomena that these individuals encounter, individuals who are often recording very strict notations for their respective empires, or individuals who are cherished in their culture as more of a legendary figure. But, in general, you’ll see the stories discussing very reasonable things before suddenly delving into encounters with beings like giants; which are typically dismissed today in such stories as impossible additions.
Red hair, additional fingers and/or toes and/or extra rows of teeth are common details in some of these oversized figures. Though one aspect in nearly every account is a certain distinguishment that can be seen, more particularly, one of two types of giant is almost always being described. And such similarities, found throughout the world, is part of what we’ll be focusing on as it points to something more than mass coincidental imaginings.
In one variety of giant: if the account is from an ancient enough period in time, this more sophisticated version of giant is generally what’s being described—and this will be explained soon. This type is often depicted as having been incredibly advanced with a remarkable set of capabilities that would appear, to an ignorant observer, to be magic. They’re often referred to by ancient cultures as the race that came before us, and as well, they’re typically also said to have been mostly wiped out by a god(s) to make way for us. These giants, from an earlier period, were also typically larger than more recent giants. However, their tremendous size is somewhat deceptive, as the key aspect of this variation of giants is that they should be considered ethereal or unbound, so to speak—and that may sound a little more far out or questionable than it actually is, but it will be cleared up at the end. For the meantime, just keep in mind and go along with the understanding that these so-called giants were very gifted illusionists; they could alter their physical appearance to give the illusion of great height or even invisibility, along with other optical tricks—and, again, this may sound bizarre, but play along for the time being.
The other variety of giants are typically found in accounts from more recent times. These giants are generally smaller, roughly between 7 and 15 feet, and are often more wild and primitive. These giants, in many accounts, are hunted as they tend to recklessly cannibalize the nearby populations and exist as a frustrating problem. Sometimes they’re described as ogres, trolls, or other large, human-like creatures.
The clearest trend that emerges from all these accounts is simply creatures of an immense size existing in the remote past having their lineage shrinking and growing more barbaric as it moves toward the present. In this vein, a common component that’s often found in various cultures understandings is that the race of giants—which is usually a distinguishing factor, separating them from the modern human race—was intentionally wiped out by the god(s), and a lesser variation is what existed after that cataclysm.
“On the earth there once were giants.”
– Greek poet Homer, 400 B.C.E.
In Islam, we have the Sahih hadith telling of Adam being 60 cubits in height. And the Quaran discussing the Aad, who were a race of giants that would tyrannize with their immense size.
The old testament, which details how the remaining giants were hunted down, and the later books of Christianity are even heavier in their references of giants:
“There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.”
“The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature.And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.”
“Yet it was I who destroyed the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was as strong as the oaks; yet I destroyed his fruit above and his roots beneath.”
The Emim had dwelt there in times past, a people as great and numerous and tall as the Anakim. They were also regarded as giants [Hebrew rephaim], like the Anakim, but the Moabites call them Emim
“[The land of Ammon] was also regarded as a land of giants [Hebrew rephaim]; giants [rephaim] formerly dwelt there. But the Ammonites call them Zamzummim, a people as great and numerous and tall as the Anakim.”
“Yet again there was war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number; and he also was born to the giant. So when he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea, David’s brother, killed him”
“They defiled themselves… They begot giants and the nephilim and…”
The Book of Giants [a heavily fragmented text]
Biblical writer Joshua also details a king by the name of Og, said to be a descendant of the giants, who’s bed was roughly 15 feet long. His kingdom, Ashtaroth, was situated in an area referred to as the “valley of the giants”.
For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of the giants. Indeed his bedstead was an iron bedstead. Nine cubits is its length and four cubits its width, according to the standard cubit
“Everything that refers to ‘giants’ in legends is absolutely based on knowledge of the truth,”
The traditions of the native people of the Americas are particularly rich with accounts of giants. As with most descriptions given by various groups throughout the world, a handful of familiar aspects abound in the Native American stories: the giants are often said to have had red hair; they’re often cannibals; they’re typically a menace and are often being hunted in an attempt to eliminate them from an area; six fingers, six toes, and an extra row of teeth are common descriptive aspects; they’re said to be from an earlier time; and occasionally, as if in awe, certain groups are described as advanced and incredibly capable.
“…many years ago, before we lived on this earth, Tirawa (God) placed wonderful human beings upon the earth. We knew of them as the wonderful beings or large people. These people lived where the Swimming Mound is in Kansas. The bones of these large people were found upon the sides of the hill of the Swimming Mound…”
The story goes on to explain how these beings were then intentionally wiped out with a flood.
Algonquin accounts often speak of the typical, cannibalistic giants, though a few tell of certain giants who are more benevolent with remarkable capabilities. In one particular story, known as The Giant Magicians, a small group of Algonquin people happen upon some giants while traveling far out from their home. They then witness the incredible talents of the giants while staying with them for a number of days; in one instance, and to the Algonquin’s amazement, a fatally wounded giant is restored to life.
“It was taught by the wise men of this tribe that the earth was originally peopled by giants, who were fully three times the size of modern men. They were so swift and powerful that they could run alongside a buffalo, take the animal under one arm, and tear off a leg, and eat it as they ran. So vainglorious were they because of their own size and strength that they denied the existence of a Creator. When it lighted, they proclaimed their superiority to the lightning; when it thundered, they laughed. This displeased the Great Spirit, and to rebuke their arrogance he sent a great rain upon the earth. The valleys filled with water, and the giants retreated to the hills. The water crept up the hills, and the giants sought safety on the highest mountains. Still the rain continued, the waters rose, and the giants, having no other refuge, were drowned.”
“The tradition of the Choctaws . . . told of a race of giants that once inhabited the now State of Tennessee, and with whom their ancestors fought when they arrived in Mississippi in their migration from the west. … Their tradition states the Nahullo (race of giants) was of wonderful stature.”
Navajo[In detailing Navajo memories of giants] “A regal race of white giants endowed with mining technology who dominated the West, enslaved lesser tribes, and had strongholds all through the Americas. They were either extinguished or ‘went back to the heavens.’”
Dr. Donald Yates—Navajo Researcher
The Moquis tell stories of the giants that came from the west and terrorized their people, giving these beings immense proportions when described. One particular story, known as Horned Toad and the Giants, details them towering above the natives like the tallest trees.
The Paiute Indians tell stories of a race of red-haired, cannibalistic giants who they eventually managed to exterminate by uniting with the other nearby tribes. It is said this was done by trapping the giants in a cave, shooting arrows at them, and then starting a large fire at the mouth of the cave. When the Lovelock Cave was later mined, many giant skeletons and artifacts were found in the area; there was also a large quantity of arrowheads found in the cave. Many of the artifacts were lost in a fire, but some of the skulls and artifacts are located at this museum.
Most Native American groups have at lease one or more giants or similar entities in their culture. To name some:
Akaguagankak (Yup’ik Indian giant)
Asin (Alsea Indian giant)
Basket Ogress (Northwest Coast Indian giantess)
Big Owl Man (Apache Indian giant)
Caddaja (Caddo Indian giant)
Chenoo (Micmac Indian giant)
Cheveyo Kachina (Hopi Indian ogre)
Gray Giant (Navajo Indian giant)
Ice Giants (Algonquian Indian giants)
Kee-Wakw (Wabanaki Indian giant)
Kolowa (Creek Indian ogre)
Kuku (Wabanaki Indian giant)
Kukwes (Micmac Indian ogre)
Lofa (Chickasaw Indian ogre)
Maushop (Wampanoag Indian giant)
Mhwee (Lenape Indian giant)
Shampe (Choctaw Indian monster)
Stoneclad (Cherokee Indian giant)
Stone Coat (Iroquois Indian giant)
Wetucks (Narragansett Indian giant)
Windigo (Anishinabe Indian giant)
Winpe (Mi’kmaq Indian giant)
Witiko (Cree Indian giant)
Explorers in the Americas
Pedro de Cieza de León recorded in his “Chronicle of Peru” in 1864 about legendary giants described to him by the Manta indigenous people: “There are, however, reports concerning giants in Peru, who landed on the coast at the point of Santa Elena. … The natives relate the following tradition, which had been received from their ancestors from very remote times.
.“From the knee downwards, their height was as great as the entire height of an ordinary man.”
“There arrived on the coast, in boats made of reeds, as big as large ships, a party of men of such size that, from the knee downwards, their height was as great as the entire height of an ordinary man, though he might be of good stature. Their limbs were all in proportion to the deformed size of their bodies, and it was a monstrous thing to see their heads, with hair reaching to the shoulders. Their eyes were as large as small plates.”
Famed Spanish explorers, Francisco Gordillo and Pedro de Quejo, sailed to Carolina in 1521 and encountered a people known as the Duhare who they described as being European. They detailed these people as having red hair and being incredibly capable in the arts of agriculture and livestock. They were also all said to be taller than the Spanish; with their chief said to have been the tallest human any of the Spanish explorers had ever seen.
In 1541, Spanish explorer de Soto’s officers, traveling Florida, detailed how the area’s people were more than a foot taller than the Spanish and were far more culturally advance than the other natives they’d found. The Spanish named them Los Indios Gigantes, which translates to the Giant Indians. These people that they found were recorded as being more than seven feet tall.
“The eyes of that species of extinct Giant, whose bones fill the Mounds of America, have gazed on Niagara, as ours do now.”
Abraham Lincoln, 1848
In Hindu tradition, a number of races and individuals are described with giant proportions, particularly a group known as Rakshasas; who were detailed as being enormous creatures with red hair. The rakshasas were also notorious for being cannibals and would often prey on human populations. As well, some rakshasas were said to have the power of illusion, being able to make themselves appear shorter or larger. Some were also seen as intelligent and wise, with an incredible mastery over the divine arts, while others were sometimes described as being more primitive and barbaric; the accounts cover a vast array of these giants over a very long period of time.
There were also said to be both benevelont and wicked rakshasas, partly because some were kind to humans while others fed on them, though also because they fought on both sides of the great war detailed in the Mahabharata, some as simple foot soldiers while others stood out as being more notable, powerful, gifted, intelligent, and/or larger heroes. Their females were known as rakshasi. And in Indonesian and Malay, which share roots with Sanskrit, rakasa means giant.
The Daityas, as well, were a race detailed as having giant proportions. Additionally, numerous stories throughout the Hindu texts feature people being in awe of someone’s size, often going into specific detail about their proportions. One of the more famous giants, Bhima, who was renown for his incredible size and power, went around killing many of the rakshasas, much in the same way that the biblical Nimrod, who’s also thought to have been a giant, went around killing giants.
“[describing the remains of giants on the battlefield] Around earrings and helmets have been scattered. Here and there clipped arms compressing the various weapon, legs and hips resembling trunks of elephants were scattered….”
The jinn, or djinn or genies, are the Arab world’s version of the primordial giants. Just like in most accounts throughout the world of the older variation of giants, the jinn are said to have inhabited this world before us. They were removed from power and we, modern humans, were given control.
The ability to control the perspective of their size was a key aspect of their being. They were known to have been able to manipulate reality, shrinking down or growing in size depending on their situation—famously in “genie and the lamp” stories. The jinn were also known to be benevolent or malevolent in regards to humans, some showed kindness while others harassed humans or haunted certain areas.
The jinn were also known to feed on human blood, as with other giants. This tendency of their’s was usually accompanied by the jinn creating some form of illusion to deceive their victim into being steadily drained over a period of time. Often, this illusion came in the form of the jinn claiming that they would grant the person a wish, after which they would create an illusion to make it seem as if the dream was coming true while they consumed the dazzled human. In other accounts, the mental world the human would become trapped in was much more horrific, for fear was said to weaken and make humans much easier to feed on.
The jinn were said to be born of the smokeless-fire into the time before our own. Like many other giants, their remaining kin after the great purging or extinction flood event were often utilized or enslaved to create structures for man; famously by king Solomon who had found a way to control and manipulate them for his own purposes. Though many other of the oldest, grandest, and most enigmatic constructions found on our world are often attributed to the jinn or giants by the region’s natives or the script left behind, with these beings having created such structures willingly—overall, their general ability to build such immense things stands quite clear throughout ancient accounts.
In summation of what we’ve examined so far, in addition to some overall insight into the understandings of modern science, as well as factoring in other mythic tales and the still existent wisdom of ancient cultures, a certain notion as to the truth behind these stories begins to form; one that lies both in the supernatural or magical and the bizarre potentials of a quantum world: as these things would appear to be one in the same.
Some of the most remarkable capabilities that quantum mechanics suggests show themselves as being akin with what’s known as magic or magick. The great illusions conducted by ancient magicians and/or the giants mentioned above can be seen as extrapolations of the potentials in a quantum world; which coincides with a holographic reality [which is discussed in greater detail in another series on this site].
The stumbling point for many then becomes the how?
How are/were these beings tactfully manipulating the properties seen in quantum mechanics through just their own conscious process when we’re only just discovering such illusory potentials with the help of our latest technology? For the supernatural properties we see in the giants found in many of these ancient stories would appear more at home in the holographic or quantum manipulation we see in our sci-fi stories today.
Without delving too far into this line of thought, the greatest consideration would seem to be that we’re looking at a lost art, something that might be called a spiritual practice. In nearly every faith, such magical practices are referred to as common at some point in the ancient past before slowly fading away. However, still today, traces of these capabilities still appear to remain.
Various examples can be found in some of the more recently released CIA archives which document their successes in some of their ESP or supernatural based programs; which were incredibly expansive and long-running. In China, as well, recently revealed documents detail how throughout the late 20th century, thousands of specialized schools were established to gather and experiment on kids who appeared to show supernatural abilities. Other individual mystics and miracle workers can be found with a few searches. Overall, we can see in the clearest and most well-documented cases an apparent ability to manipulate the physical, in one way or another, so as to suggest that certain, if not all, aspects of the physical world are indeed malleable through the etheric hands of consciousness.
This brings us to a certain understanding that would seem necessary to detail in order to properly grasp the two variations of giants. Looking at it very simply, two planes of existence can be seen; the plane that we see and are constantly manifesting upon, and the plane that our souls or spiritual selves exist in. Our spiritual self and our physical self are bound together and exist just a shadow’s width apart; though we spend nearly all our conscious time in the physical plane, a plane where we’ve already manifested into a physical form and are somewhat stuck to it as we’ve grown with it. However, the older giants/gods/jinn exist more so in the other plane and consciously manifest into the physical plane—as opposed to us who were unconsciously brought into the physical and planted here.
This allows them a greater level of control over how they appear in the physical plane; similar to a person developing a video game as opposed to a person who bought that game. Yet, these primordial beings at certain points interacted with the physical to create children in this plane, children who were born into it. They retained some of their parents’ traits but are bound, like us, into the physical plane. This is where we begin to see the distinction between the almost god-like ancient giants and the more recent accounts of giants; they’re lineage, slowly drifting away from their ancient sage-like ancestors, became ever-more primal as they devolved into the beastly giants that our more recent ancestors came to know.
In the next part of this mini series, inside of our larger series on giants, we’ll discuss more accounts from different cultures. As well, we’ll look into the understandings found in Buddhist, Hindu, Norse, and other mystic traditions regarding their very comprehensive knowledge of how and why the physical world (or as they might term it, the surface or visual world) can be manipulated in order to help further explain and bring clarity to the pervasive phenomenon known most simply as giants.
(This is the end of part 2 of our Giants series as well as being the end of part 1 of 3 of our smaller Stories of Giants series)
All images and content used without explicitly noted attribution are public domain works or creations of MineTheHive
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A. Aarne and S. Thompson, The Types of the Folktale, 2nd rev. ed., Folklore Fellows Communications 184, Helsinki, 1973.
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