Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Forgotten Race of Little People


Happy St. Patty's Day! 

I thought today I should write about the wee folk, or little people associated with legends of magical qualities. Not the elves or the leprechauns, the Tommyknockers or the fairies, but the race of little people believed to have lived around the world in the distant past.

Legends tell of giants and also trolls, Cyclops, Goliath, and more. They also tell of the "wee folk," "little people," "elves," "dwarfs," "Tommyknockers" and more.


Around the world, evidence of actual races of little people have been uncovered. Perhaps the most widely recognized one today is the "Hobbit" of Indonesia.


Homo floresiensis

Homo floresiensis, nicknamed "Hobbit," was found in Jakarta, Indonesia and aged at about 17,000 years ago. His brain was the size of a chimp, his body 3 feet long, but his feet strangely long and flat at 7-1/2 inches. The assumption by his very flat feet is that he was unable to run like we do, but could walk. In fact, though he was a hominin, he did not seem to have feet that were anything like our own evolutionary process. There has been much debate if the island isolation created this unusual race, but it would seem more likely that they evolved in their own direction from the primates on the island many millions of years ago. Even more interestingly, wee folk around the world are portrayed with long feet!


Artist reconstruction - interestingly with a hairy body for a being who lived only 17,000 years ago.

This race was proven by artifacts, but have we found skeletons of other "little people?" 

From the book The Natural and Aboriginal History of Tennessee by John Haywood (starting page 200 on reprint edition from Amazon):

Referred to as "pygmies," these skeletons were found buried in crypts just outside of Sparta, Tennessee in the County of White and reported in the Nashville Whig in June 1820.

These graves had many bodies, all of them quite small. Some of the crypts were as small as 18 inches by 12 inches. The first grave was 2 feet long and inside the small skeleton and its teeth had the researcher wondering if it was canine or monkey. He had them sent off to be examined.

They were buried with care in a stone crypt and had shells and urns with them. The bones were so old they crumbled quite easily. One skull the examiner held up was 5" across from side to side. Most individuals were from 18 inches to 2 feet 10 inches long. One find was a 5 foot 5 inch individual found with the smaller ones. The taller skeleton had a head that was longer, eyes much wider asunder, the forehead much higher above the eyebrows, and the under jaw measured one inch longer on each side than the smaller fellows. Atop the head of one skull had bright silver grey fine hairs.

There was great dissimilarity in skull shapes, the size and shape of the bones, and looked to belong to different tribes of people. Just 8 miles away, a 7-foot giant was found.

These finds were packaged and sent for examination in Nashville. The prevailing opinion was that they were not children. No 1 skull belonged to some carnivorous animal of the canine genus; but that the skull belonged on an adult person of small size, not much exceeding 3 feet in length. Cylindrical bones and teeth appeared canine. Others gave the same odd opinion. 


Source: V.R. Pilapil, for example, asserts that the disputed Tennessee graves really did contain pygmy remains. Not only that, but he hypothesizes that the pygmies arrived in ancient times from southeast Asia, probably the Philippines, where today's diminutive Aetas live. To support his case, Pilapil recalls B. Fell's examination of the Tennessee skeletal material. Fell noted that: (1) The skull brain capacity was equivalent to only about 950 cubic centimeters, about the volume of a non-pygmy 7-year-old; (2) The teeth were completely developed and showed severe wear characteristic of mature individuals; and (3) The skulls were brachycephalic (flat-headed like dogs) with projecting jaws (like dog). Fell had, in fact, described skulls very much like those of today's adult Philippine Aetas. Another line of evidence adduced by Pilapil involved the traditions of British Columbia tribes, which recognized a tribe of very small people called the Et-nane. More significant is the oral history of the Cherokees, which mentions the existence of "little people" in eastern North America.

Source: Anthropological Institute, Journal, 6:100, 1876: An ancient graveyard of vast proportions has been found in Coffee county. It is similiar to those found in White County and other places in middle Tennessee, but is vastly more extensive, and shows that the race of pygmies who once inhabited this country were very numerous. The same peculiarities of position Observed in the White County graves are found in these. The writer of the letter says: "Some considerable excitement and curiousity took place a few days since, near Hillsboro, Coffee county, on James Brown's farm. A man was ploughing in a field which had been cultivated many years, and ploughed up a man's skull and other bones. After making further examination they found that there were about six acres in the graveyard. They were buried in a sitting or standing position. The bones show that they were a dwarf tribe of people, about three feet high. It is estimated that there were about 75,000 to 100,000 buried there. This shows that this country was inhabited hundreds of years ago."

Interestingly, this area around Sparta and White County had been the site of extensive saltpeter mining in the Civil War era and also has the 10th longest mapped cave in America, the largest in Tennessee. Caves, mining and little people; seem to go together. Mining and caves and the wee folk are prolific in the legends. 

Tommyknockers: These little folk are in the legends of the Welsh as troublemakers and sometimes, early warning folks within caves. Interestingly, Wales is the site of the Great Orme Caves which, when uncovered, showed ancient mining with tools too massive and big for humans to have utilized, showing signs of giant culture. 

Giants and little folk seem to show up hand-in-hand in regions, like Tennessee and other mining areas. And, local "Native" people tell of these in their legends and lore repeatedly to the point that one has to give it credence.

Source: The Native peoples of North America told legends of a race of "little people" who lived in the woods near sandy hills and sometimes near rocks located along large bodies of water, such as the Great Lakes. Often described as "hairy-faced dwarfs" in stories, petroglyphs illustrations show them with horns on their head and traveling in a group of 5 to 7 per canoe.

A graveyard unearthed in the 1830s in Coshocton County, Ohio was believed to contain skeletons belonging to a pygmy race. In fact that the graves, only about three feet long, were "bone burials" containing disarticulated or bent bones packed together.

The physical remains of tiny people have been reported found in various locations in the western United States, particularly Montana and Wyoming. Typically these are described as being found in caves with various details such as descriptions that they were "perfectly formed", dwarf-size.

Let's take a wee look around the world at the little people legends -

America

Source: "Yunwi Tsunsdi."  The Little People of the Cherokee are a race of Spirits who live in rock caves on the mountain side. They are little fellows and ladies reaching almost to your knees. They are well shaped and handsome, and their hair so long it almost touches the ground. They are very helpful, kind-hearted, and great wonder workers. They love music and spend most of their time drumming, singing, and dancing. They have a very gentle nature, but do not like to be disturbed.

CROW: The little people of the Pryor Mountains. Crow folklore says the "Little People" ("Nirumbee") live in the Pryor Mountains, a small mountain range in Carbon County, Montana. Petroglyphs on rocks in the mountains, the Crow said, were made by these demon-like creatures. Because the Little People live there, the mountains are sacred to the Crow. The Little People are said to be no more than 18 inches (46 cm) (or knee) high. Crow folklore differs slightly from that of other tribes in describing the Little People of the Pryor Mountains as having large, nearly round bellies; incredibly strong but short arms and legs; and little or no neck.

Enukins of Alaska:  Small mischievous people of the night are part of Alaskan legend. They were also said to live underground!

Ishigaq: Inuit legend of little people who left no footprints in the snow.

Nimerigar:  Shoshone legend of little folk of the American Rockies. 

Yunwi Tsundsi:  Cherokee described little folk who reached just about the human knee in height and loved music, singing, and were kind.

Mannegishi:  Cree legend of little people with no nose, big heads, gangly limbs (sounds like alien greys, eh?). 


Europe


Gnomes: Legendary creatures that live underground.
Elves "Huldufolk": Icelandic - Secret, hiding, tiny folk.
Fairy: Winged, tiny, magical creatures.
Goblins/Gremlins: Dwarf-like mischievous being.
Leprechaun: Magical little folk.
Brownie: Tiny beings who come out at night, help around the house, do not want to be seen, and appreciate a food gift.
Pixies: Tiny folk who like to dance and wrestle and play.


The arctic north

Source: Sirtya- are а mythical folk in mythology of Nenets people which live in the most north-eastern tip of European continent . Nenets live in arctic tundra and have a society based on nomadic reindeer. Scientists believe that Nenets came in that region around 1500-1000 years ago from most south-eastern lands around river of Enisey in Siberia. They aren`t indigenous people because not only their legend told that but also their settle into land of modern Arkhangelsk Oblast (westernmost their location) was well documanted during reign of Russian tzar Ivan ІV Groznyi (16th century).









Source:  (above photos) New discoveries aren't only in Yamal Peninsula, but also in island Nova Zemlya and whole coast-line of Northern Europe. This showing to us picture of lost ancient civilization in sub-Arctic region, last signs of which reach the late Medieval period. Memory about this human race may be take on effect in many European (peculiar Scandinavian) myths about Dwarfs and Gnomes. This kind of behaviour from Sirtyans easy can be compare with notion about Dwarfs and Gnomes.

The Icelanders have a wonderful attitude about the elves. They associate them with rock (mining/caves?) like the Norwegians see trolls as giants who turn to rock (mining giants?). Legends have an interesting way of transporting events and truths in the context of magic which helps to transport a tale to future generations in a way that is storytelling and easily remembered. There have even been instances where roadways being laid out were diverted because of the need to disturb large groupings of rocks and not wanting to disturb the little folks. Rocks - associated with the tiny ones and the tall ones would show what Native American tribes even recalled, "they did the mining, not us." And who built the original megaliths? Where there is rock, there are extraordinary races.



The Norse had a term "skraeling" which was believed to be tied to native people of Greenland and North America. Some believed them to be giants, others pygmies, depending on how this odd word was translated.

Monopod from Nuremberg Chronicles
Interestingly, little fella, big foot.

Source:  Another explanation for the etymology of the word skræling is proposed by Kirsten Seaver in her work "'Pygmies' of the Far North."The pygmy belongs to a vein of mythological races that was ubiquitous throughout Ancient and medieval lore dating as far back as Homer's Iliad. Scottish writer Alexander Ross wrote of the phenomena of the Pygmy “ that there have been Pigmies in the world, that is, people of a cubit or two high. . . . I say there have been such, I make no question, when I consider the multitude of eminent Authours who have writ on them, and that no reason was ever yet alledged to deny them.”

The ubiquity of the term pygmy throughout many different cultures and places in the known world lends to the validity of their mythical existence. Other monster races referred to by Norse writers were based on the monster races created by Pliny the Elder in his  History (Pliny), including the infamous Monopod which made an appearance in the Saga of Erik the Red:

“ True it was that our men tracked a one-legged creature down to the shore. The uncanny fellow fled in a flash, though rough was his way, hear us Karlsefni!”


The Pygmy was a known idea to privileged Norse explorers like Leif Eriksson and as North America was a foreign and inhospitable land on the edges of the world known to the Norse, they were quick to label these new people Pygmies, since they would have been smaller in stature than the Norse explorers. Kirsten Seaver contends that the word skræling was a direct Old Norse translation of the Latin word Pygmaei, and referred to this newly discovered and misinterpreted monster race indigenous to North America.






In Shahdad in the Province of Kerman, a 5000-year-old city was unearthed that appeared to be occupied by "little people." For a wonderful posting on this, check Message To Eagle



Conclusion


Interestingly, it would appear that legends and myths of little people are found around the world, in the very same places "ancient giants" were found. They also had what was often referred to as gangly limbs, odd shaped skulls, long feet, and hairy bodies by many, as well as favoring mines and caves. 

Where there were giants, there were little ones from Trolls and gnomes to Native American legends of mining giants and mining little people. 

Today, many crypto researchers report stories by witnesses or they themselves witnessing "little ones" accompanying the Sasquatch. In fact, many Native People will not speak of the little ones as there seems to be some kind of peril if one discusses or tries to interact with them, like a kind of curse of sorts.

The Hobbit was found in a cave, reports from Native People repeatedly say they either mined or lived in caves and did not like the daylight, came out only at night. Even the Cherokee told of moon-eyed people who only came out at night and whom they drove from the lands. 

Was the role of this little race to work in caves because they were both small and had the ability to see in the dark? It would seem a very real possibility. So, the relationship between giants and the little ones might have been one of either slavery or mutual assistance in order to dig the caves out (giants) and mine within small spaces in the dark (wee folk).

Tiny cave people who had eyes adjusted for such living and long feet not designed to run long distances in the open plains, but to maneuver in rocks surfaces, sounds adaptive.... 

This is beginning to be very intriguing and you know I'm going to pursue this in much more depth. In fact, even today a lot of people report encounters with the wee ones. Many say they are seen along with the giants, or Bigfoot. The amount of reports is as impressive as the Bigfoot reports. What is interesting about this is that those who witness the little ones are less likely to share it with anyone. The fact is, Bigfoot is one thing, but wee folk are something of fairy tales and hallucinations to most people's thinking. 

I am interested in learning more about this, although some researchers refuse to speak of the wee ones, saying something bad would befall them. The superstitions about these little people abound, even today. 

If you found this entertaining, you might look into some fun movies that play with the subjects of rocks, caves, and odd beings or "fae."

Trollhunter
Troll
Lord of the Rings
Hobbit
Dreams
Willow
Leprechaun
The Fairy Faith
The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns
Legend
Excaliber
The Secret of Roan Inish
Fairy Tale: A true Story
Photographing Fairies
The Dark Crystal
Labyrinth
The Neverending Story
Clash of the Titans

If you enjoy this subject, I highly suggest this book - it is a warehouse of amazing finds - one of my favorite research books! 



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