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Giant Lore Around the World
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10/30/2011 10:52 PM
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More folklore from Creatures in the Mist by Gary R. Varner.
Tales of giants are almost as numerous as those about the little people in Native American lore. These tales most likely are metaphorical in nature; that is they are the explanations for the huge landforms that Native people existed with on a day by day basis but for which they could not explain. At least that is the primary theory of contemporary anthropologists and folklorists. To a certain extent, the myths concerning giants would tend to indicate that this theory is correct. However, there are also those tales, combined with physical evidence, that indicate that another race of giant people did, in fact, exist not only in North America but around the world.
In Greek mythology, the giant Titans were the offspring of Gaia, the Earth Goddess, and Uranus the Sky God. The Titans were primordial deities that ruled over earth and heaven until overthrown by Zeus. However, many other gods and goddesses were born of the union between Zeus and Titan women or other Titan gods and goddesses. Among these was Apollo, Selene, goddess of the moon, Eos, the goddess of the dawn, Helios, god of the sun, Artemis, goddess of the wild beasts, Demeter, goddess of agriculture, Hades, god of the underworld, Posedion, god of the sea, and Cronos who castrated and overthrew his father Uranus.
In most cases, these ancient giant beings were regarded as evil. In Mesoamerican lore giants were considered to be the “first race”. They are still believed to exist as forest cannibals in some locations and are said to be so large that they must sleep sitting up, as they have no room to stretch out. (1) The belief in a race of giant cannibals is fairly common in Native American lore although, according to ethnologist James Mooney, the giants are “comparatively few in number while the ‘little people’ are legion.” (2)
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