The legend of El Dorado appears to be an amalgam of reality and fantasy. The legend, which describes a great king who is current dusty gold that shines like a god himself before cleaning in a sacred lake, is actually based on rituals Chibcha. The Chibcha, a tribe living in what is today part of Columbia, did exactly this, although not daily. At the time the Europeans had arrived, this practice seems to have been largely abandoned, but it is easy to imagine why the Europeans, fresh from the conquest of Peru and Mexico, would be attracted by the idea.
However, a digression, the real culprit responsible for several hundred years of cartography "El Dorado" and "Lake Parima" in Guyana should Sir Walter Raleigh, who explored the region in search of the legendary kingdom of gold in 1595. Raleigh was the first to connect "El Dorado" to the land or the city of "hand." Raleigh does not visit the city of Manoa (which he believes is El Dorado) by itself due to the onset of the rainy season, yet he describes the city, based on indigenous stories, as resting on a salt lake 200 leagues long somewhere in what today must be Guyana, northern Brazil and Venezuela Southeast. Nor Raleigh precisely locate Manoa, but his second, Captain Keymis, there are indications in his own narrative:
days which is south of the country, and his mouth at the head pass in twenty days, after taking its pro-visions, which will carry it on his shoulders one day, then return to their canoes, and also assume beside a lake, the call Jaos Roponowini the Parima Charibes, which is of greatness so they do not know the difference between it and the main sea. There are an infinite number being canoes on the lake, and I suppose that is none other than that whereon stands Manoa.
Back in Europe cartographer Hondius, reading narrative of Raleigh and delighted by the idea, said Lake Parima his 1599 map of "falling off van het Nieuwe Goudrycke Landt Guayana." Most cartographers later followed suit the next 300 years or so.
This lake may actually have some basis in fact. Sir Robert Schomburgk, he studied this region from 1835-1844 and made this interesting note:
From the southern foot of the Cordillera de Pacaraima spread the great savannahs of the Rupununi, and Rio Branco Takutu or Parima, covering about 14,400 square miles, its average height above the sea being 350 to 400 feet. These savannas are flooded during the rainy season, and pay in the period, with the exception of a short portage, a communication between the Rupununi and Pirara, a tributary of Mahu or Ireng, which falls in the Takutu, and the second in Rio Branco or Parima.
The annual flooding of this region, which opened what must have been a popular ancient trade route from the Orinoco, the Rio Branco and therefore the Amazon tributaries, the Solimões River, the Japurá, and the Black River. Thus, when European explorers in the Lower Orinoco during the rainy season appear Indian traders saw gold jewelry and exchange parts, the connection to El Dorado seemed obvious. When asked where the gold is, the local tribes could only respond "hand."
Still in the 17th century the Manoas were a large and populous nation trading, led by King Ajuricaba dynamics, occupying the shores of the Black River. It seems that the Manoas were very secretive of their trade routes - like all business of quality must be - and jealously guard their territory. There are records of trade agreements between the Dutch in Guyana and "Manoa" dating from the late 16th century. The range of commercial network Manoa extended over a vast region of the mouth "of Jupura up and down the Amazon and Para to Quito from the Cayari to Santa Fe and the Upper Orinoco, the Essequibo and Parima to its sister rivers the northern basin of Guyana. " This may partly explain the extraordinary diversity of the regions where the legends of Manoa is not heard.
But where all the money come from? This may be impossible to answer, but can speculate. The first European to "see" Manoa was Juan Martinez c. 1542. Martinez was a master of ammunition under the conquistador Diego Ordaz. Ordaz was in search of El Dorado in the lower Orinoco, where he died. Before his death, which in turn is mysterious, Ordaz Martinez sentenced to death as guilty of an unfortunate explosion of ammunition. Martinez would be tied and adrift in a boat on the Amazon. Many believe that what remains a complete fabrication by Martinez, but generally considered the habit of attributing anomalous elements in the accounts of early travel to the intentional misrepresentation easy solution to a complex problem. Martinez says he has been picked up by traders in the region Manoan, so unusual to find your skin tone, led him, blindfolded, their city. In this case, Martinez describes a great city. Interestingly, the meeting also described the heir to the recently conquered the Inca Empire. Given Heckenberger discoveries and new understanding that, at least in the early days of exploration in South America, the Amazon was actually a well-organized populous region, this story is completely reasonable. That Manoans the traffic may have had with the Incas, by rank in the western Amazon is almost a given. It also allows them access to the gold mining regions in the eastern slopes of the Andes. Manoa association Martinez lost heir to the Inca Empire also mentions the possibility that this was none other than the city lost a long time Pattiti shelter - though this opens a whole new can of worms.