Giant Red Haired Cannibals

Blogger’s Note: Today I’m reposting a piece written almost a year ago in support of the release of FLIPKA, which is set in the land of giant red-haired cannibals.  For some reason this post gets hit on a regular basis every single week. Apparently the subject is very popular on-line.

Previously I had posted the quiz (click here) to test people’s knowledge of the Great State of Nevada.

4. The legend of the Giant Red Haired Cannibals is not a legend claims:
a. The journal of legendary
 scout  Kit Carson
b. Life Among the Piutes by 
Sarah Winnemucca
c. Mark Twain's autobiography
d. Aliens 

The legend of the giant red haired cannibals dates back to a massacre sometime in the early 1800s in a cave near what is currently the small town of Lovelock Nevada.  The Piutes claim they attacked a group of Indians, forcing them to retreat into a cave which they then sealed with brush and set aflame.  They claimed these Indians were giants – over ten feet tall – and that they had red hair and ate Piute children.

Sarah Winnemucca

Sarah Winnemucca

When the Europeans started exploring that area, they dismissed the Piute tales as Indian folklore until Sarah Winnemucca, daughter of Chief Winnemucca (a Piute leader famous for attempting to improve Indian/European relations), wrote the book Life among the Piutes. Something about the printed word gave the legend a hint of veracity.  Just a hint but that was all it took.  Soon evidence of those giant humanoids was found by bat guano miners. Said evidence disappeared in an earthquake but the legend persists, as you can see by clicking the following link: http://whofortedblog.com/2013/07/29/are-the-huge-handprints-found-in-nevadas-lovelock-cave-evidence-of-a-lost-race-of-fabled-giants/

I first heard about the Red Haired Cannibals while camping at Pyramid Lake, a shallow body of salty water approximately thirty miles east of Reno on Piute land.

pyramid lake

The Pyramid on the eastern side of Pyramid Lake. From nevadaweb.com.

The Piute don’t camp at the northern end of the lake because of rumors about the Pinnacles (eerie piles of tufa rock located there). My father claimed the large spiders and rattlers on the formations scared the Indians away but…

Pinnacles

The Pinnacles – home to the giant, red-haired cannibals?

I remember laying in a scratchy mummy bag, staring up at the stars thinking that maybe the giant red-haired cannibals weren’t killed off.  That their ancestors hid inside the Pinnacles, sneaking out after dark to grab children from their sleeping bags and drag them home to roast alive on their Weber grills (hey, these are modern day cannibals) while they had a beer and joked about the stupid white man.

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