Ancient Race of White Giants Described in Native Legends From Many Tribes

Ancient Race of White Giants Described in Native Legends From Many Tribes


By Tara MacIsaac Epoch Times  

Several Native American tribes have passed down legends of a race of white giants who were wiped out. We’ll take a look at a few such legends, including those among the Choctaw and the Comanches of the United States down to the Manta of Peru. 


Horatio Bardwell Cushman wrote in his 1899 book “History of the Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Natchez Indians”: “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.”

A Choctaw stick-ball player, depicted by George Catlin in 1834.

A Choctaw stick-ball player, depicted by George Catlin in 1834. (Public Domain)

Cushman said “Nahullo” came to be used to describe all white people, but it originally referred specifically to a giant white race with whom the Choctaw came into contact when they first crossed the Mississippi River. The Nahullo were said to be cannibals whom the Choctaw killed whenever the opportunity arose.


Chief Rolling Thunder of the Comanches, a tribe from the Great Plains, gave the following account of an ancient race of white giants in 1857: “Innumerable moons ago, a race of white men, 10 feet high, and far more rich and powerful than any white people now living, here inhabited a large range of country, extending from the rising to the setting sun. Their fortifications crowned the summits of the mountains, protecting their populous cities situated in the intervening valleys.

 “They excelled every other nation which was flourished, either before or since, in all manner of cunning handicraft—were brave and warlike—ruling over the land they had wrested from its ancient possessors with a high and haughty hand. Compared with them the palefaces of the present day were pygmies, in both art and arms. …”

The chief explained that when this race forgot justice and mercy and became too proud, the Great Spirit wiped it out and all that was left of their society were the mounds still visible on the tablelands. This account was  documented by Dr. Donald “Panther” Yates , a researcher and author of books on Native American history, on his blog.


Yates also writes of the Starnake people of Navajo legend, describing them as: “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.'”


In 1553, Pedro Cieza de León  wrote in “Chronicle of Peru”  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.

 “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.”

León said that the sexual habits of the giants were revolting to the Natives and heaven eventually wiped out the giants because of those habits.


The Paiutes are said to have an oral tradition that told of red-haired, white, cannibals about 10 feet tall who lived in or near what is now known as Lovelock Cave in Nevada. It is unclear whether this “oral tradition” about the so-called Sitecah giants existed or if it was an exaggeration or distortion of their legends made after the Paiutes were mostly killed or dispersed in 1833 by an expedition by explorer Joseph Walker.

Brian Dunning of Skeptoid explored  Paiutes legends and found no mention of the Sitecah being giants. It seems there was, however, a people who practiced cannibalism and who lived in Lovelock Cave. Human remains have been found there, and a few of the human bones had the marrow removed, suggesting the marrow was eaten. Cannibalism seems to have been a rare practice among these peoples, however.

The remains do have red hair, but this may be because black hair can turn red with time. 

Lovelock Cave

Lovelock Cave (Bureau of Land Management/Public Domain)

The Humboldt River near Lovelock, Nevada, where the Sitecah people were said to live.

The Humboldt River near Lovelock, Nevada, where the Sitecah people were said to live. ( Famartin/CC BY-SA )

Miners unearthed the artifacts in 1912, leaving them in a pile before eventually contacting the University of California. Anthropologist Llewellyn L. Loud traveled from the university to the site to investigate. It is commonly agreed that excavation of the site was not handled well and certainly not up to modern standards. But some proponents of the Sitecah giants theory say researchers have deliberately covered up any giant remains found there.

Featured image: Navajo Hogan, Monument Valley ( public domain ). Navajo legends speak of the Starnake, a race of white giants.

The article ‘ Ancient Race of White Giants Described in Native Legends From Many Tribes ’ was originally published on The Epoch Times and has been republished with permission.


I find it hypocritical when Native Americans always say that the white man murdered the indigenous people when Native Americans did the same to those already living here but instead of saying murdered it’s called “replaced”. Case in point the Clovis people and the pre-Clovis people.
From article on the mummy in the “Spirit Cave”:

“The Clovis people’ who first arrived in the Americas 13,000 years ago were ‘almost’ entirely replaced by a subsequent wave of people around 9,000 years ago. The new evidence, according to Cosimo Posth , a geneticist from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and co-author of one of the three scientific papers published by the international team, proves that “Nearly all Central and South Americans arose from a star-like radiation of the first lineage into at least three branches.” “

I don't know where you get your information about Native American skills that would impress you to write, "It certainly was not the pre-Colombian native americans because they did not develop metallurgy."

I am Tsalagi (Cherokee), and the Tsalagihi DID develop metallurgy in regard to copper. Ancient Tsalagi burials and archaeological sites contain copper jewelry that was made from copper that was refined by our people. The graves and the ornaments predate Columbus by a few hundred years--around 800-900 AD, which would have been roughly 592-692 years before Columbus "discovered' the Caribbean islands and, with his brothers' help, murdered one island tribe to extinction and killed approximately 125,000 indigenous people (half the population) on the island that is now Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Gold is a metal, too. The indigenous people whom Columbus first encountered and later murdered to extinction wore gold earrings and other gold jewelry. They mined the gold, refined it, and crafted it into jewelry. Likewise with the Maya and the Aztecs. Their knowledge of metallurgy in general was limited, but it did exist, along with effective ways of crafting gold and copper into jewelry and other items.

You really should read up on Native American history and cultures--or you could just ask some Native Americans. We are still pretty good at keeping historical accounts of our ancestors and our culture. The Eastern Band of Cherokees at the Qualla Boundary in NC have the Museum of the Cherokee Indian that could enlighten you. You can contact them through the website at

Also, these tales of white-skinned (as opposed to light skinned), 10-feet-tall giants are fictional stories. They are so widespread, because long before Columbus was born, the Indigenous Nations of North America had established trade routes that connected Indigenous villages across the continent, and it wasn't just trade goods, salt, pipestone, chert, food crops, and crafts that were traded. Indigenous traders also shared and collected stories from other tribal cultures and passed them on as they traveled among the villages, then they told them to their own people when they returned home. Through a series of trades and traders, within a few months a story from the Atlantic coast could--and often did--make its way to the Pacific coast.

What non-Indigenous people obviously have a hard time grasping is that our oral tradition has three basic categories; 1) The History of Our People; 2) Religious and Creation Myths; and 3) Stories--Fables for Moral Instruction (similar to Aesop's Fables) and Entertainment.

A good story was a valuable commodity among the ancient Indigenous Nations, and they were shared widely. Some of the Uncle Remus stories about animals were taken directly from Tsalagi (Cherokee), Creek, Chickasaw, and Choctaw fables that have been around for hundreds of years, maybe longer. Keep in mind that there was no written language to speak of, no radio, no TV, no worldwide web, no computers, and no libraries. Stories were a favorite form of entertainment. Most villages had storytellers; and the traders wore two proverbial headdresses, that of a trader of goods, and that of storyteller/gatherer.

It should be noted that whenever a village or tribal nation would hear a new story from another tribal nation, they would change the story slightly by embellishing the story with little cultural tidbits or local landmarks, or added details to adapt the story to their culture and "own" the story in a sense. It also made the story seem more "real" to the listener.

For effect, some storytellers would begin or end a particularly exciting or fanciful story with a suggestion that the story was told to him as being a true story, even though all but the small children knew that it was not. The effect was that it sparked the imaginations of the listeners. There were fictional stories of animals; people; magic and magicians; sgili (withches) and black magic, such as the Ravenmocker; fantastic fictional creatures, such as the giant serpent Uktena; and strange races of humans, such as the white skinned, 10 feet tall cannibals that suddenly vanished without a trace.

The tales of the 10 feet tall white skinned giants were from the "Story" category, created for entertainment.

As for the bones in the cave in Nevada, wild animals such as wolves, coyotes, and rodents would account for "a few" of the bones being broken and the marrow removed. It was not unheard of to use a cave as a burial site. There are caves in the Southeast that are burial sites. In those caves are human bones, and some of those bones were broken and the marrow eaten. When a bone is broken and rodents eat the marrow, the result looks like the marrow has been scraped out of the bone with some sort of tool, when the only tool actually used were the rodent's teeth.

Anthropologists and archaeologists are very good at creating entirely speculative stories to go along with their findings of something they really don't understand. I have been on archaeological sites to protect graves from archaeologists, and I've seen and heard some of the ridiculous speculations that they fabricate; things that I knew to be completely off-base. The bones in the Nevada cave is among them. I don't know if the anthropologists were that uninformed, or if they just saw what they wanted to see.

Ummm I dont know where you get your logic from but the average height of a people does not reflect the word-of-mouth oral tradition used to pass down these stories. If you clear away all the "purple monkey dishwasher" password scrambling you are left with a white skinned, tall people with strange habits. An ancient European civilization did, in fact, come to North America and mine the surface copper. Some has been identified in bronze age European metal. It certainly was not the pre-Colombian native americans because they did not develop metallurgy. The copper was mined in 3000 B.C. It was not Norseman that did the mining but they did arrive in North America in more recent(recent enough to still have oral tradition) history.. I would imagine the warriors chosen to row across the Atlantic would have been the tallest and strongest of an already tall people.

ummmm don't know WHERE you are getting your info. Indians particularly the Sioux and the Blackfeet etc WERE some of the TALLEST HUMANS ON THE PLANET! EQUAL in stature to any viking.

I agree. It would seem llogical.


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