South American dragons are known for their diversity and are generally smaller in stature than most other dragons. This is an especially difficult group to clarify because of most South American dragons’ are shapeshifters and have the ability to camouflage themselves to be unseen. They are shy and often their lairs are in very secluded terrain.
Aztecs, Mayans, and Incas
Right: Dragon Mask Temples in Central Yucatan, 1952-1972. Francis M. Murphy. Printed in Hong Kong.
Some saw the sun as a great golden god, giving light to the people below. Others saw the dragon as the one who swallowed the sun at dusk and spat it back out at dawn. They believed that if the dragons did not do this there would be no night, and the people would not sleep. If the people did not sleep they would be too tired to work and the tribe would soon vanish. The dragons are responsible for allowing us to sleep according to these people.
In the Americas the gods are often depicted as dragons or serpentine creatures. Quetzalcoatl is the Aztec god of wisdom and religion. Toltecs, Mayans and other Mesoamerican tribes and cultures also worshipped him. Mayan dragons had heads on both ends.
Quetzalcoatl’s name means feathered serpent, and he is often depicted as a great feathered serpent. He is also the god of the winds, and his dragon form allows him to move freely with the wind.
An old miner, having worked in California since 1848, read an account of gold in Central America. He left on the SS Golden Age for the newly discovered mining region. Upon arrival at Panama, he took a vessel to the town of Boca Chica, about 180 miles, and thence proceeded to the City of David, at the boundary of New Granada and Costa Rica.
The City contained about 7,000 inhabitants, Indians, Spaniards, Negroes, and was the headquarters of the Chiriqui mining excitement. The people were under the control of the priesthood. The old miners interest were the mounds with perhaps 20,000 graves in the largest and 10,000 in the smallest. In Chiriqui, there were perhaps a million of these mounds or graves. They were burial places of the ancients. A lost race.
May, 1860, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California
Adventures of the Huacas, or Gold Graves.
A curious circumstance was that the bodies lay five and five, and one out of these generally contained the gold images, generally found near the head of the body — from the elbow to the skull, but never below that, looking as if they had been attached to the upper part of the arm or around the neck.
An infinite variety of grotesque, hideous and curious gold images were discovered, such as bats, crocodiles, butterflies, lizards, tigers, scorpions, birds, serpents, dragons, and many indescribable shapes and figures.
(We have one now before us, representing a lizard. It if of pure gold, and unlike anything we have ever seen.)
The largest prize found was in an ordinary looking grave, whence was obtained a human figure of solid gold, worth $1300. It represented an Indian chief, was very handsomely made, and was bought by the Governor of Panama. In some graves as much as four pounds of gold were obtained, in figures from a dollar up to eighty dollar’s value…
The greatest number of people engaged, at one time, was at Quinca or Cameron, where about seven hundred were at work. No rule could be laid down for digging.
Gold images are of every conceivable shape. They are painted with odd devices round, square, and angular figures, not unlike those found in the ruins of Copan, Palenque, Chichen, and Uxmal in Honduras and Guatemala, evidently having some relation to the religion of this lost race.