When the Spanish Conquistadors accompanying Hernan Cortes landed on the shores of the New World and raided the vast empire of the Aztecs, the treasures of South America became famous. According to the widespread legends of El Dorado, deep inside the jungle somewhere there was a city made entirely of gold. Soon, hordes of wealth-seeking men would swarm the New World, and set off for days with 100-700 men in search of a fortune.
The legend was born first after Cortes kidnapped the Emperor Montezuma and took control of the Aztecs, then raided their capitol and took massive amounts of gold. Then another conquistador, Fransisco Pizarro, held the Incan Emperor ransom and obtained a fortune. After hearing these tales, the people came in massive numbers to live in “the gilded land”. Then news of a strange tradition reached the ears of these people; apparently, every new year, the chief of an ancient tribe would coat himself in tree sap, then with gold dust, then jump in the clear waters of a lake nearby. Afterwards, he would emerge clean, and a feast for the new year would begin.
This simple story was warped immensely when the people of Europe heard of it. They imagined a rich city made of gold, with pure waters of the spring, and a chieftain draped in jewels. Streets paved with gems would crisscross the whole city, and a massive treasury filled with cascades of treasure would be the crown jewel of the city. It was a tale that would hearten any soldier. Eventually, people began to announce that they were going on an expedition for El Dorado, and they would be joined by 100-700 men who all wanted their share of the treasure. They would bring their own armor, weapons, and livestock for the journey. Many would die on the expeditions, but they would prove to be very resilient. They would brave poisonous bogs, treacherous rivers, and windswept deserts. However, they would eventually give up after months of searching, or after their leader died.
Some believe that El Dorado is still out their somewhere; a gilded city where that remains undiscovered. The legend of El Dorado was widely a dramatization and a warped story that sprouted from rumors of vast treasure. But it is still one that may have roots; and those may be part of something legendary. Although a city such as El Dorado has never been discovered, the Amazon Rainforest is massive, and all its secrets have not yet been discovered. In fact, even today we are still finding ruins of ancient civilizations. Since there were so many tribes and cities in El Dorado, there is speculation that El Dorado may exist. The legend of El Dorado is one worth telling, a legend of a man’s wildest dreams. A city of gold enough to make a man wealthier than a king, a city speckled with lost treasures of the past.
Bold: Prepositional Phrase
Conquistadors: Spanish Soldiers that accompanied Cortes in his journey to the New World.
Hordes: Vast groups of people or animals.
Gilded: Coated with gold, ornamented with something.
Immensely: A very great amount, to a great extent.
Cascades: Mountains, large piles, extreme amounts.
Hearten: Inspire, cheer up, invoke confident emotions.
Livestock: Domesticated animals used in farming, such as cows and pigs.
Resilient: Withstanding, resisting opposing force.
Treacherous: Dangerous, unreliable or untrustworthy.
Dramatization: A widely exaggerated version of something, used to make a point.
Speculation: Theories, ideas about something unknown.