A Conversation for Ask h2g2

Leprechauns, fairies and little people

Post 41

Gnomon - time to move on

The pre-history of Ireland is a bit vague. There's no doubt that there were hunter gatherer people, and that then a new lot arrived with farm animals and started to cut down the trees to make farms. This happened in about 4000 BC. The farm people would probably have been smaller than the hunter gatherers, because that's what an agricultural life style does to you.

In 2000 BC, Bronze working arrived, and in 500 BC, the Celtic language and Customs. But it is not clear whether these were invasions or just the locals adopting customs that they saw in their foreign trading. Irish legend talks about Fomorians, Parthalonians and Milesians invading the country, and magical people called the Tuatha Dé Dannann (people of the god Dana) and the Fir Bholg (bag men or paunch men). But it's hard to see how these correspond with any actual movements of people.


Leprechauns, fairies and little people

Post 42

Ommigosh


"Pharisee" for "Fairy" seems to be a Sussex thing. Fossil echinoids which looked like bread loaves were called both "Fairy Loaves" and "Pharisee Loaves" there. They were once used as charms when baking to make the bread rise to the right shape.
Probably, "Pharisee" is just a corruption of the word "Fairy".


Leprechauns, fairies and little people

Post 43

YalsonKSA - "I'm glad birthdays don't come round regularly, as I'm not sure I could do that too often."

But weren't the Pharisees a group of people mentioned in the Bible? Does this mean that there were fairies wandering around the Holy Land two thousand years ago?

Oooh, this is so confusing.....

smiley - wah


Leprechauns, fairies and little people

Post 44

Ommigosh

"Does this mean that there were fairies wandering around the Holy Land two thousand years ago?"

No, I think it just means the Sussex yokels somehow got a bit mixed up.


Leprechauns, fairies and little people

Post 45

Lord Wolfden - Howl with Pride

I knew a few little people at college mainly people with brittle bones.


Leprechauns, fairies and little people

Post 46

Gnomon - time to move on

See posting 38


Leprechauns, fairies and little people

Post 47

Lord Wolfden - Howl with Pride

And your point being Gnomon?


Leprechauns, fairies and little people

Post 48

Gnomon - time to move on

I think there's an echo in here.


Leprechauns, fairies and little people

Post 49

pffffft

I knew a few little people at college mainly people with brittle bones.


Leprechauns, fairies and little people

Post 50

IctoanAWEWawi

"and magical people called the Tuatha Dé Dannann "

Ah, so that's where David Gemmel got his 'inspiration' for his pulp fantasy books from. At a guess, there'll be a Dagda or someone similar in the stories too, right?



Leprechauns, fairies and little people

Post 51

Xanatic

I've only heard them refered to as fairy mounds. And fairy to me conjures up images of little winged glowing humans. But they were more leprechaunish then?


Leprechauns, fairies and little people

Post 52

Gnomon - time to move on

Yes, there certainly was a Dagda.

The leprechauns were members of the little people who were shoemakers. "Leath brogán" means half of a pair of boots, because he was often seen mending a boot. Why leprechauns are always shown wearing 18th century costume I don't know. But they were evil little blighters.


Leprechauns, fairies and little people

Post 53

Xanatic

I could use some ideas on how to find a leprechaun as well. As a student a pot of gold would help my financial situation greatly. Though they probably all have swiss bank accounts nowadays.

I have seen a few people here in Ireland who were rather short, with grey beards and general stereotypical leprechaunish traits. They weren't dressed in those green outfits though. But there was a part of me that wanted to grab them and see if they had any gold.


Leprechauns, fairies and little people

Post 54

IctoanAWEWawi

Thought they were for wishes, not gold? Or both?

Gnomon, ta! What about the Sidhe? They weren't too nice either were they?

Indeed, seems to me that as you go back in time, so the mythological beings become more nasty and vindictive, or at least unpredictable. Presumably this reflects the experiences people had of the world around them. If ones world is harsh and unpredictable, then so will ones mythology be?
Although, of course, one shouldn't try to judge by the standards of today.
In fact, were there any nice non human beings there?


Leprechauns, fairies and little people

Post 55

Xanatic

I think they just tended to give them human characteristics. Rather than today with the New Age people trying to Disneyfy everything.


Leprechauns, fairies and little people

Post 56

IctoanAWEWawi

I guess. When nasty things happen to you outside of your control, I guess people will invent nasty beings to explain what they see.


Leprechauns, fairies and little people

Post 57

Lord Wolfden - Howl with Pride

Interesting stuff.


Leprechauns, fairies and little people

Post 58

Azara

I can remember reading a Victorian novel where a child was described as looking 'elfin'. From the context, this meant 'sallow, scrunched-up, malevolent-looking'. smiley - yikes It's a far cry from Galadriel and Arwen!

Azara
smiley - rose


Leprechauns, fairies and little people

Post 59

The southern Belle

kind of wish that there was proof that fairies existed and the same goes for dragons


What is a Kimodo dragon , Speaking of dragons iz your friend still having problems , Iz he still gonna marry the Yankee .


Leprechauns, fairies and little people

Post 60

Gnomon - time to move on

A Komodo dragon is the largest lizard in the world.


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