“The forces of nature are often classified according to one of four kinds of expression – earth, water, air, and fire. Operating at the most primal level with these expressions of force in the natural world are beings called elementals. Those working with the force of earth in the natural world are called gnomes…”
Gnomes are very ancient tiny spirits of the earth and mountains. They have accompanied people all through history and you can read about them in countless fairy and folk tales of almost all European countries, especially in Germanic and Scandinavian folklore, the legends of Ireland, Scotland and England.
The word comes from Renaissance Latin gnomus (meaning: “earth-dweller”) and according to Paracelsus’ description the spirits are much shorter than dwarves (only two spans, which is distance from the tip of the thumb to the tip of the little finger, measured by a human hand). They avoid interaction with humans but are known to maintain good relation-ships with birds, rabbits, foxes, hedgehogs, and squirrels. Folklore indicates that there are large gnome communities with male and female gnomes of all ages.
In ancient and medieval mythologies, gnomes are often associated with dwarves guarding mines and subterranean places full of treasures. However, unlike dwarves, the gnomes usually live beneath human gardens and have a reputation for emerging during the night to do some useful gardening and they enrich garden soil, making flowers and vegetables flourish. Additionally, like for example in Norway, gnomes bring gifts.
In the mythology of the peoples of Europe, the gnomes live much longer than humans and possess supernatural powers such as the ability to move through solid earth with the same ease as people move through air.
The king of the gnome race, Gob, possessed a magic sword that is said to have influenced the melancholic temperament of man.
Gnomes know the secrets of all underground streams and rivers where water has properties unknown to human. In a way, gnomes are also experts on rocks and can determine their age and read the past from them. Gnomes are children of the mother of the earth, who protects their children from outside influences and leaves the gnomes community unchanged for thousands of years.
Gnomes And Their History
The name Gnome quite literally means “Earth Dweller” and is synonymous with Pygmaei or as we know the term today, Pygmies. Once believed to stand 3-4 feet tall, masculine, strong in physique with long beards. Their possible history reaches back to the ancient Roman Greco era to a tribe in Greek mythology who were secondary deities who co existed with humans. The Gnomes were considered highly skilled in nature magic. Gnomes were seen as benevolent beings that were intelligent and wise, hard working in manual labor, peaceful in nature yet fierce defenders when necessary. They were the guardians of farmland; gardens and small livestock and forest animals. When lands were under attack they rode upon goat back brandishing spears to drive out the invaders.
In Roman mythology they were considered akin to the Roman fertility god Priapus protector of livestock fruit and gardens and considered very virile. It is believed that Gnomes are depicted consistently as male figures in history and rarely referenced as female in that the Gnomes were defenders of the meek and all things worthy of protection. It is believed they were very protective of their women and would defend them to all cost against predators and intruders, and later in history from humans.
In Celtic and Germanic lore, the Gnomes were a tribe attributed with Earth element magic and were defenders of mines and under ground tunnels. It was believed that gnomes could move through the Earth and breath underground with the same ease their human counterparts do above ground in the air. Some associate Gnomes as descendants of the Dwarves of Germanic and Norse legends for the ability to move underground and the belief that Gnomes were skilled miners. It was thought that they helped to build under ground tunnels to hide treasures and riches of the fae folk after the great invasions of ancient Ireland, and from humans in modern times.
In Hawaiian mythology , the Menehune are said to be an ancient race of small-stature people who lived in Hawaii before settlers arrived from Polynesia. Many scholars attribute ancient structures found on the Hawaiian Islands to the Menehune. However, others have argued that the legends of the Menehune are a post-European contact mythology and that no such race existed. The mythology of the Menehune is as old as the beginnings of Polynesian history. When the first Polynesians arrived in Hawaii, they found dams, fish-ponds, roads, and even temples – all said to have been built by the Menehune who were superb craftspeople. Some of these structures still exist and the highly-skilled craftsmanship is evident.
According to legend, each Menehune was a master of a certain craft and had one special function they accomplished with great precision and expertise. They would set out at dusk to build something in one night, and if this was not achieved, it would be abandoned. To date, no human skeletal remains of a physically small race of people have ever been found on Kaua’I or on any other Hawaiian islands. While this does not disprove that a race of small people existed, it does draw the truth behind the legend into question. Nevertheless, there is compelling evidence, both archaeological and in the numerous legends passed down over generations, that suggests that there was indeed an ancient race of highly-skilled people who inhabited the Hawaiian islands long before the Polynesians arrived.