> It's been a long time since I looked into the El Dorado story,
> but I recall from reading that the legend involved the Golden
> Man covering himself with gold dust and plunging into a lake in
> some purification ritual. Over the course of several hundred
> years there would have been a significant deposit of gold dust
> at the bottom of that lake. The Spaniards apparently never
> located the lake, but it seems reasonable to me that it
> existed. The various gold icons such as the birds and trees
> made of gold would likely have been removed along with other
> Inca troves when the Spanish invasion began. Locating those
> hidden caches, as far as I know, was a futile effort but
> provided impetus for many exploratory expeditions into the
> interior. A similar legend was told to Coronado leading him on
> a wild goose chase in search of Quivira. The motif of a
> legendary chieftan and a garden of golden trees and birds is so
> similar to El Dorado that I have often wondered if they did not
> have a common origin in South America or whether the Spaniards
> did not inadvertantly transport the legend themselves. Both
> Coronado and De Soto were spurred on by the fabulous wealth
> encountered by Cortez and Pizzaro. There is even a local
> treasure legend of a renegade captain in Pizarro's forces who
> absconded with several llama loads of gold and silver following
> ancient Indian routes to North America. The llama train was
> alleged to have been wiped out somewhere in the vicinity of
> Gainesville, Texas and treasure hunters from Spain were still
> searching for it as late as the late 19th century based upon
> information supposedly located in the royal archives of Spain.
Wow, I didn't know that. That's really interesting. I don't really know much about it, to be honest.
> Where gold is involved it takes only a grain of truth to launch
> a thousand ships. LOL!
And a pretty good movie, too!