What Do You Call Them?
What would the world of folklore be without fairies? These spirits, often perceived as “little people” have been helping humans, plants, and animals here as well as in other realms for a very long time. Perhaps, according to some legends and folk tales, even before then.
The word Fairy- also spelled as Faery - originates from the Latin word fatum which means fate or destiny. The English version we are all familiar with has roots in the French version fee. It has been suggested that the Saxon word feie refers to a specific world inhabited by fairies.
That world can exist in many places. Depending upon the culture, it can be over the rainbow, under the sea or in the stars. It can also be found in tree roots, summer breezes and winter snow.
Here are some of the names different cultures have given these ‘other worldly beings’:
Asparas – These feminine sky dancers have the ability to swoop down and bless people during important rites of passage, such as births and weddings.
Brownie – Residing over Scottish Lowlands and Highlands, these spirits are often compared physically to very short men who appear at night to complete the work of servants. Named after their ragged brown clothing and rugged brown skin, they come out at night to help to take care of work that has been left by the servants.
Glaistig - Part woman, part goat, these water fairies can do many things. They can lure men in order to drink their blood, they can help old people and young children, and they can help with the herding of cattle.
Ohdows - This family of dwarf, well-formed people of Native Americans stories and myths live underground, inside the belly of the earth. From there they can thwart above ground deities that cause destruction, such as earthquakes.
Tokolosh –South African legends say that these spirits, covered in black hair, live near waterways and scare lone travelers by causing other animals to cry out in fear.