THE LITTLE PEOPLE AUTHORITY
Now, I know that I already did Elves, Fairies, and Gnomes but there is so much more to learn that I decided to do a revise edition including dudes from around the world. Now, I have been thinking about this all break month so this had better be good!
NORWAY SWEDEN DENMARK ET CENTRA EL CONTINUIM DE MORE STUFF
Now, many people would consider Greek and Latin myth the most important type but, I beg to disagree that at this point in Fantasy literature Norse myth is most influential. Have any of you heard of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien as the fathers of modern fantasy? Well they are both profoundly influenced by Scandinavian. Let me take a mo here to discuss these two. C.S Lewis was a very interesting philosopher. He wrote many books on subjects such as Milton, Sin, and other factual books, but my favorite are his fantasy and sci-fi books. Chronicles of Narnia is typically children’s fantasy, but in the sense it is an allegory it is quite adult. He includes creatures from all types of myth, which I will discuss later, but it seems his coolest are Norse. What do you call Ettins, Orcneas, Boggles, and Dwarves? Norse I tell you! His other fantasy books include such fabulous works as Til we have Faces. As for sci-fi, it may surprise you that he wrote a large series concerning a man named Ransom who travels all over the solar system! I will not go into detail about that but I will recommend it to you. Regardless I am getting a bit beside the point, let me talk about the man who converted Lewis.
J.R.R. Tolkien. The name strikes fear into the hearts of literary critics, as well as people with a low attention span about the daily affairs of his entire Macroverse*. He is the author of the profound works of Arda. He started out writing his Mythology, later called the Silmarillion, because he wanted characters to speak his languages he so loved (He was a language fanatic). Later he started adding in creatures like elves as he stumbled across myth in his language studies, and indeed made up several based on mysterious references in the Norse texts. For instance, Ents, Hobbits, and Orcs. Orcs were found in a passage listing creatures, including elves as well. Tolkien decided Orcneas (The original name, he changed it to Orc) were monsters. Another interesting thing is Elves. As my disciples know, there is a bit of a question about the goodness of elves. Some folk tales have them as people to be admired, (To wit Norse) and Germans have them evil. Tolkien, to my point, chose good. He took Ents and Hobbits from the Norse/Anglo-Saxon manuscripts as well. If you read any of his books you will see that part of the magical ambiance depends on the mythological connection between ents, hobbits, gnomes, beorn, barrow wights, orcs, and giants.
*I actually really love all the details.
Alright, now to the little guys in Norse. First dwarfs. In myth the first dwarfs came from the blood of Ymir. They came out like lil’ maggots. A dwarf was placed on each corner of Earth, apparently one up north ate a giant piece of magnet. Svartalfar are creatures who live with dwarfs in Svartalheimr, or to put it another way, dwarfs lived with Svartalfal, since the place is named after the latter. Many scholars think that these two are actually the same thing, but Tolkien strongly rejected this as the easy way out. Thus we have the Dark Elf race in Fantasy, and they appear as villains in Thor, The Fionofar Tapestry, and other works.
They made the Mead of Poetry, and you can read all about that in THE DWARF AUTHORITY by Carver Means. So it is possible that dwarfs were originally just lesser in power as gods, but after Christianization this became plain old short and Tolkien confirmed it and the movie gave them Scottish accents officially.
Trolls are obviously very common all about, they also appear in Tolkien’s works and basically everything else. Females are trollkoner and the king lives in the Dovre mountains, the inspiration for the song “In the Hall of the Mountain King”. And yes, they turn into stone at the sun and hoard and run from lighting and acid. Nattmara are female werewolves who give nightmares. The nisse or tomte is an invisible mischievous dwarf like creature. Elves are beautiful in Norse and live in forests and meadows. They range in size throughout the stories from tiny and gnome like to tall and bewitching, the latter mainly in Denmark. Often Trolls or Tomte fall in love with them, similar to Greco/Roman nymphs. Vittra, like earth gnomes, live in deep underground cities and were invisible except as part of the land. Wights may be dwarf ghosts. I hope this section was long enough…
OTHER EUROPEAN MYTHOLOGY
Obviously, you want to know about Leprechauns. Well, apart from the stereotype leprechaun this is how they were imagined: “He is about three feet high, and is dressed in a little red jacket or roundabout, with red breeches buckled at the knee, grey or black stockings, and a hat, cocked in the style of a century ago, over a little, old, withered face. Round his neck is an Elizabethan ruff, and frills of lace are at his wrist. On a wild west coast, where the Atlantic winds bring almost constant rains, he dispenses with the ruff and frills and wears a frieze overcoat over his pretty red suit,” -Mcannally
The Leprecaun is part demon and part fairy. Far Darrigs, which get way less attention, are rat like creatures with a bit of a fantasy following. Red caps are murderous Goblin ish guys found in England and Scotland. If the blood on their cap dries they die so they must kill whoever they can. They have a pike and are impossible to outrun.
The Kaubuter in Dutch folklore is similar. Gnomes assist them in making bells but later much outgrew their masters and are now so popular there are Zombie Gnomes. More about them later. Goblins, or sooty elves, are English and are also pretty popular, spawning Orcs and much more stuff, but wait till the next article for that. Nightmares here are female goblins.
Puk is a basic representation of Pan and all little people and was later called Puck. Elves here are very household -like. Pixies, Sprites, and Fairies all sort of interlap but Pixies are often attributed to living in flowers, Sprites live in water, and Fairies come from Faerie. In Roman and Greek mythology there is a race of small people named Pygmies. According to the Illiad they were in constant war with cranes who migrated to Ethiopia (or India) were the Pygmies lived. They once tried to attack Hercules but he kept them as little pets. Dipenates also known penates are household deities. They were similar to house elves and other household fairies in that you have to give them certain types of food. As for Brownies we’ll get to them later. So as I was saying these guys were more deity like although many of what we think of as creatures are really minor gods.
Now one very common things that I promised I would tell you about are house elves. J.K. Rowling did a pretty good job capturing the ideas of the European people. For instance they do have a grasp on magic and when freed are very powerful (just in case you don’t know I’m talking about Harry Potter) they are related to Yumboes and Erklings although it is more legalistic in that they have to obey their master, instead of having such nature instead that they want to obey old shoe makers. To the actual folk lore, they are more commonly known as brownies but also called Urisks. In Scotland they have brown fur and wrinkled skin. They are also similar to Norse tomte, Swiss jack of the bowls, Killmoulis, fenodyree, and of course Hobs.
In Spiderwick Chronicles brownies become boggarts when angry this is supported by folklore. In Dragon rider, brownies are like cats and enjoy singing and mushrooms. Brownies are in the film willow.
FAIRIES AROUD THE WORLD
In most people’s imaginations, they think mainly of fairies in European mythology. This is a good way to do it, I think, but when they included other kinds of spirits and even humanoids the definition grew wider. Now might as well count the Ashwang, or the Bwaca, or that stuff. But that is a bit beside the point because this is little people, but so what let’s not be nit-picky. In Native American mythology there are some little people, even the separate warring tribes. These include Yehusari, which tickle toes through the floor boards. Also Crows, Ishaq, Chanequ, and Jogahoh. If you see one, they beg you not to tell and if you don’t they reward you with Tomte like help.
In Maori myth, there are Patupaiarehe spirits living in deep forests and mountain caves. Like Satyrs and goat people they play flute music. In Hawaii, Mehehune were people who loved Bananas (Minions?). There is a bigger type of them called Nawao, which were hunters and swift. A trow is an evil spirit in the myths of the Orkney and Shetney islands. They are short, ugly and shy at their best. They are like trolls nocturnal and hide in trowe knows which they use to house themselves and their musician prisoners. They capture them because they love music. A trowate is a sea monster.
The Shoshone North Americans of the Rocky Mountains believed in Nimerigar, arrow shooting people from the desert lands. Dokkaebi are Korean goblins, basically. Not to continue the weird fad of calling Asian things the Asian version of one of our things. Take Chinese “Dragons”. Anyway, these guys lived by the road side and challenged passersby to a wrestling match. They play tricks on bad guys and reward good guys. They have a club that summons whatever they want, as long as such a thing exists it comes right to them, which is thievery. They have an invisibility cap. The Japanese have a ghost yokai like thing called a Tsukumogami. Also it can be a self aware object, like the Gingerbread man, or a Buddhist evil spirit, or an adjective, or a blank creepy wall. There is a bit of confusion of what in the world this is, but I use it for the purposes of this article. The Kasa- Obake is a ghost also from Japan. It is a monster that used to be an old umbrella. They are in many video games, as Japan controls the genre (and therefore controls our minds, accidentally helping the Arko aliens who want to sneak in through the telepathic transmits of Earth. But that is beside our point.)
In Europe, the fairy or elf has a strange connection with the Demon, the unclean, the evil spirit. This may be caused by the spread of Christianity changing ideas and folklore but it is still very disturbing. Leprechauns are Angels who were cast to Earth when they could not decide whose side to be on in later legends. Well, this is one of the more demonic features, stealing children. It is in almost every mythology, tale, or folklore culture that has little people, and even that which doesn’t. Even Trolls did it. These changelings were a type of child usually, although sometimes it was an old fairy. They would take the Human kid and leave the imposer. There were many ways to get rid of this, including making the fake laugh, forcing it to recite a rhyme, reveal itself, and run off. Trolls may have thought it was more respectable to be raised by humans, but they get mad if you baptize their little devil! Oh well, beggars can’t be choosers! So where exactly do changelings come from? In the Brothers Grimm book, one tale has the elves in the mountain doing it. It could also be a female dwarf, a water spirit, or the devil, in Germany. Ever heard of Scrulls?
Sorry this article was a little late. I had to dictate to my brother Hiram while I researched and record checked. Also it was a little longer than usual. So next is Dragons, so that’s pretty cool. Adios Amoebas!