Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Ancient Red Haired Giants of Nevada

Sarah Winnemucca and the the Legend of the Red Headed Giants in Lovelock, Nevada: "Sarah Winnemucca was a Paiute leader who stood for peace between the races at a time when white settlers and the native peoples were caught in a deep divide. Sarah spent her life building bridges across the chasm, and at times she was cast out by both sides. Red headed giants: To deepen the appreciation of the remarkable woman, Sarah Winnemucca, producer Gwendolyn Clancy and historian Dr. Sally Zanjani traveled around Nevada to the places that figured prominently in Sarah’s life including the Humboldt Sink, Pyramid Lake, Genoa, Johnstown, Virginia City, Fort McDermitt, Winnemucca, Lovelock and Carson City. This production includes interviews with Winnemucca family members Dorothy Ely, Sherry Ely Mendes, as well as Paiute tribal member Ralph Burns. According to the oral history of the Paiute tribe in Nevada, a red-haired tribe of cannibals lived near the Paiutes, and often harassed them with constant war, and occasionally captured victims to eat. After years of warfare according to Sarah Winnemucca, Hopkins, the daughter of Paiute Chief Winnemucca said that eventually the Paiute tribes had all had enough, and decided to band together to eradicate the Si-Te-Cah (translated as “tule-eaters”) for good. As the legend goes, the battled waged on and eventually the Paiutes chased the last remaining Si-Te-Cah to a cave where they had taken refuge. The Paiute attackers intended to leave none alive, and so demanded that the Si-Te-Cah come out of the cave. When they wouldn’t, the Paiutes filled the cave entrance with brush and set it ablaze, hoping to drive out the last remaining survivors. The smoke successfully flushed a few, who died in the volley of arrows, and those remaining in the cave suffocated and died. An earthquake eventually collapse the cave entrance to the point where only bats could enter. The remains of these giants were eventually found deep within Lovelock cave". Sarah referred to a dress that was decorated with some of the red hair of the giants. Lovelock cave. Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins 1883. "According to the Paiutes, the Si-Te-Cah were red-haired band of cannibalistic giants. The Si-Te-Cah and the Paiutes were at war, and after a long struggle a coalition of tribes trapped the remaining Si-Te-Cah in Lovelock Cave. When they refused to come out, the Indians piled brush before the cave mouth and set it aflame. The Si-Te-Cah were annihilated. Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins, daughter of Paiute Chief Winnemucca, wrote about what she described as "a small tribe of barbarians" who ate her people in her book "Life Among the Paiutes: Their Wrongs and Claims" - she wrote that "after my people had killed them all, the people round us called us Say-do-Carah. It means conqueror; it also means "enemy." "My people say that the tribe we exterminated had reddish hair. I have some of their hair, which has been handed down from father to son. I have a dress which has been in our family a great many years, trimmed with the reddish hair. I am going to wear it some time when I lecture. It is called a mourning dress, and no one has such a dress but my family."

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