Lake Parime

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Parime Lacus on a map by Hessel Gerritsz (1625)

Lake Parime is a legendary lake located in South America. It was believed that on its shores was located the city of Manõa or El Dorado. The lake was searched for by several explorers such as Sir Walter Raleigh and Alexander von Humboldt. The lake was printed on maps in the 17th century up until the 19th century. It was believed to be somewhere in Guiana for several years. Then later cartographers like Robert Schonburg and Van Huevel moved the lake more to the southeast of the Orinoco River and north of the Amazon river, often being situated south of the mountains that border Venezuela, Guiana, and Brazil. However explorers were unable to find the magical and mythical lake, and so they declared the lake as being imaginary.

The Nhamini-wi and the Lake of Milk[edit]

The Tukano and Piratapuias tribes of the upper Negro River tell a story of the Nhamini-wi. The Nhamini-wi was a pre-Columbian road that traveled from the mountains in the west where the house of the night was located. The trail began at axpeko-dixtara, or the lake of milk in the east. Explorer and artist Roland Stevenson found ruins north of the Negro River in the Uaupés basin that are believed to be the remnants of the Nhamini-wi.

Stevenson followed the vestiges of the extinct pre-Columbian road eastward to find the lake at its beginning and ended up in Roraima, Brazil, in the plains of Boa Vista. Upon examining the region Brazilian geologists Gert Woeltje and Frederico Guimarães Cruz along with Roland Stevenson found that on all the surrounding hillsides a horizontal line appears at a uniform level approximately 120 metres (390 ft) above sea level. This line registers the water level of an extinct lake which existed until relatively recent times. Researchers who studied it found that about 700 years ago this giant lake began to drain due to tectonic movement and slowly over the centuries dried up.

Foreign explorers who have come to the plains of Roraima to explore the area with Stevenson have included the Paititi investigator Gregory Deyermenjian, who in 1997 documented Stevenson's finds, and the likely correctness of Stevenson's conclusions concerning the pre-history of the region, in expedition reports filed at the Explorers Club headquarters in New York City.

The lake's previous diameter measured 400 kilometres (250 mi) and its area 80,000 square kilometres (31,000 sq mi). It is believed by many modern searchers of El Dorado that the plains of Boa Vista may be the location of Lake Parime. Though due to the drainage it was not found, and therefore considered a myth.


  • Raleigh, Sir Walter. The Discovery of the Large, Rich and Beautiful Empire of Guiana, London:Robert Robinson, 1596.
  • Stevenson, Roland. Uma Luz nos Mistérios Amazônicos. Manaus: SUFRAMA, 1994.