Sunday, January 20, 2013

Tommyknockers

I'm in the American Southwestern Desert. We have an interesting cultural icons here including skinwalkers, thunderbirds, jackalopes, and more. Tommyknockers are one that is related to the mining industry.

Of Cornish legend, these supposed gnome-like creatures were the souls of the Jews who crucified Christ, sent to work as slaves in tin mines.  They are described as 2 feet tall and greenish, wearing miner's clothing. During the California mining craze, the most excellent miners, the Cornish, were sent in to work. Along with them came the legendary creature.

The knockers were said to rap on the walls of the cave just before a cave-in. When the knockers were being good, they were said to give miners wealth and favors. When they were bad, they were said to injury and death. Over the years, miners began to explain missing tools and mischief on the Tommyknockers.

Over the decades, the Tommyknockers were seen as something else, the dead miners who helped to protect and warn the living. Miners have even been known to leave food and gifts in thanks to the gnome-like creatures.


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