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Folklore: Dwarves growing out of stone

MorwenEdhelwen1 15 May 13 - 11:18 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 16 May 13 - 07:12 AM
McGrath of Harlow 16 May 13 - 09:56 AM
GUEST,leeneia 16 May 13 - 10:07 AM
McGrath of Harlow 16 May 13 - 04:44 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 16 May 13 - 06:49 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 May 13 - 07:48 PM
GUEST,SteveT 17 May 13 - 04:56 AM
Dave the Gnome 17 May 13 - 05:14 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 17 May 13 - 05:33 AM
Dave the Gnome 17 May 13 - 06:35 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 17 May 13 - 07:02 AM
GUEST,leeneia 17 May 13 - 10:03 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 17 May 13 - 12:16 PM
GUEST,leeneia 17 May 13 - 01:35 PM
Richard Mellish 17 May 13 - 05:29 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 17 May 13 - 08:24 PM
GUEST,leeneia 17 May 13 - 10:18 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 18 May 13 - 03:29 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 18 May 13 - 04:30 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 18 May 13 - 05:20 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 18 May 13 - 06:20 AM
GUEST,leeneia 18 May 13 - 09:13 AM
GUEST,leeneia 18 May 13 - 10:00 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 18 May 13 - 04:12 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 18 May 13 - 11:22 PM
open mike 19 May 13 - 03:55 AM
open mike 19 May 13 - 04:21 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 19 May 13 - 10:02 PM
GUEST,leeneia 20 May 13 - 10:52 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 20 May 13 - 09:48 PM
GUEST 21 May 13 - 01:35 PM
GUEST 21 May 13 - 01:40 PM
Dave the Gnome 21 May 13 - 03:44 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 21 May 13 - 08:42 PM
GUEST,CS 22 May 13 - 04:33 AM
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Subject: Folklore: Dwarves growing out of stone
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 15 May 13 - 11:18 PM

I'm writing a story based on the Sigurd Fafnirsbane/Nibelung hoard tradition, where dwarves play a huge role. There's also some influence from The Hobbit (I'm a Tolkien nerd, so that's unavoidable). While researching various Scandinavian/Germanic traditions (especially Norse myths) about dwarves and rereading Tolkien, I came across a quote from the appendix of LOTR about "a Mannish superstition that Dwarves grow out of stone."

Now, through reading the Poetic Edda, I found the story about the dwarf Alviss trying to marry Thor's daughter. Thor challenges Alviss to a riddle/general knowledge contest which lasts until the morning, when Alviss is turned to stone. Dwarves in Norse myth apparently hate sunlight and can easily turn to stone, so "growing out of stone" makes a lot sense - they "go back to what they are made of."
Are there any references to dwarves "growing out of stone" in Northern European folklore?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dwarves growing out of stone
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 16 May 13 - 07:12 AM

Refresh.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dwarves growing out of stone
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 May 13 - 09:56 AM

Of course in The Hobbit Tolkien has the trolls turned into stone by the morning sun. The Greeks had the same effect on those looked at by Medusa, and the Cockatrice could do that too.

But being turned onto stone isn't the same as the other way round, which I'd imagine would be a lot harder to manage.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dwarves growing out of stone
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 16 May 13 - 10:07 AM

Well, no, I've never read a story where dwarves came out of stone, Morwen. It may simply be a new and original idea.

How do you like the idea of trolls originating as twisted, blasted tree trunks? Makes magical and artistic sense, don't you think?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dwarves growing out of stone
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 May 13 - 04:44 PM

The old Flash Gordon cinema serial had mud people coming out of the walls of a cave.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dwarves growing out of stone
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 16 May 13 - 06:49 PM

@leeneia: I'll have to use that idea!
Maybe it was a twist on the idea of dwarves turning into stone (Cf. Alviss).

Oddly, in both German and Norse folklore and mythology, there are very few references to female dwarves - the only named ones I know of are Lyngheid and Lofnheid in the Poetic Edda and Herrid, a little girl in The Saga of Thorstein Viking's Son, who is the daughter of the dwarf Sindri.

There may be other ones, but they are hidden and indistinguishable from the men (maybe this is where Tolkien got the idea that dwarf women "are like to the men in appearance, voice and speech."


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dwarves growing out of stone
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 May 13 - 07:48 PM

Zhang Yimou, the Chinese director, produced a film in which one of the terra cotta warriors comes to life. Great adventures befall him.

Not about dwarfs, but from out of clay.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dwarves growing out of stone
From: GUEST,SteveT
Date: 17 May 13 - 04:56 AM

And then there's the Golem of Jewish folklore.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dwarves growing out of stone
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 17 May 13 - 05:14 AM

The 'mannish suggestion' that Dwarves grow out of stone in Tolkienien fantasy is simply based on the apparent absence of female Dwarves. In the Tolkien universe not many Dwarvish children are born because only around a third of Dwarves are female. In addition they are almost indistinguishable from male Dwarves, to the eyes of Men, anyway. Hence we are now probably seeing folklore springing up from a fantasy universe and it will eventually become part of genuine folklore!

I could be cynical and say it has happened before with disastrous effect when a work of fantasy became a religion. But I will not say that...;-)

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dwarves growing out of stone
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 17 May 13 - 05:33 AM

@Dave: Even in Tolkien's sources there aren't many female dwarves... see my post at 6.49 PM yesterday Mudcat time.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dwarves growing out of stone
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 17 May 13 - 06:35 AM

The point I was, seeming unsuccessfully, trying to make is that while, as you say, there are not many references to female Dwarves anywhere, Tolkien goes on to explain why Men are under the impression that there are NO female Dwarves. Hence some Men believe that Dwarves are not born but made in other ways. The link to stone is not a huge leap as Man knows that Dwarves spend their time working with stone. I suspect it will not be long before Tolkien's explanation becomes folklore in it's own right. Probably after our lifetimes though!

Incidentally, Pratchett continues the female dwarf concept as you would expect - comically :-)

DtG


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dwarves growing out of stone
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 17 May 13 - 07:02 AM

@Dave: Yes, and dwarves are also said to turn into stone in sunlight... like Alviss, who wanted to marry Thrud, Thor's daughter.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dwarves growing out of stone
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 17 May 13 - 10:03 AM

If you start thinking about it, you will note that females are absent a lot. I was just looking at some publicity for the new Star Trek movie. I saw pictures of at least five males and of only female.

There used to be a movie about an Englishman taken captive by some vaguely-Plains tribe in the 19th century. One day I pointed out to a male friend that the tribe had strange demographics.

"What do you mean?"

"It has only two females in it, one young and beautiful and one old and witchy. (This is the usual combination.) Everybody else is male.
The tribe has are no teenage girls, no young mothers, no baby girls."

"You know, I never noticed that!"

(No wonder that, after the Englishman had been tied to a stake for 3 days and hadn't started growing a beard yet, they decided to rethink this.)

Authors probably don't actually forbid the existence of female dwarves. They don't put them in their books because, like my male friend, they just don't think about them.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dwarves growing out of stone
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 May 13 - 12:16 PM

Yes, leeneia, female reproductive services are useful occasionally.










Ouch !


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dwarves growing out of stone
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 17 May 13 - 01:35 PM

And we are usually better at matching colors.

Morwen, it's great if you want to use my idea about trolls coming from blasted tree trunks. I just noticed they all start with 'tr.'
Hm, maybe give your trolls names that all start with tr.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dwarves growing out of stone
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 17 May 13 - 05:29 PM

I understood that it is (some but not all) trolls who are at risk of turning to stone when exposed to sunlight (plus of course the sinful dancers who continue dancing after midnight on Saturday night to the fiddler who turns out to be the Devil, as in Stanton Drew in England and Hårga in Sweden).

Richard


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dwarves growing out of stone
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 17 May 13 - 08:24 PM

Dwarves and trolls often share similar qualities, I think.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dwarves growing out of stone
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 17 May 13 - 10:18 PM

"I understood that it is (some but not all) trolls who are at risk of turning to stone when exposed to sunlight"

As an attorney, Richard, you realize know that the penalty depends on what nation the troll inhabits and what version of the magical penal code is in force at the time the sun comes up.
========
In a recent thread we mentioned 'King of the Golden River,' by John Ruskin. I ordered myself a copy, of course using the Amazon page where Mudcat gets a %. In that tale, two wicked brothers get turned to stone. I recommend it, because it's a great yarn and its English is elegance itself.

The URL for that noble page is

http://www.amazon.com/?ie=UTF8&%2AVersion%2A=1&tag=themudcatcaf&link_code=hom&%2Aentries%2A=0

But I don't know if it works outside of the USA.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dwarves growing out of stone
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 18 May 13 - 03:29 AM

Sounds like an interesting book.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dwarves growing out of stone
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 18 May 13 - 04:30 AM

In the Norwegian folkeeventyr collected in the 19th century by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Engebretsen Moe, we find much of trolls that would seem to function as an interface between the fantastic and the commonplace whilst embodying, ceremonially, the harsher aspects of nature which is then hilariously (& violently) dispatched without pause for compassion.

My lifelong favourites are the free-loaders that feature in The Cat of Dovre (AKA The Cat on the Dovrefell), though the troll and his daughter from Espen Askeladd & the Seven Silver Ducks are no less entertaining - likewise the hapless glutten from Porridge With a Troll. What these masterful folk tales tell us about trolls I'm not so sure really, though I dare say, somewhere, there'll be a more vigorous intellectual folkloric analysis to that I've suggested above.

Seek 'em out!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dwarves growing out of stone
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 18 May 13 - 05:20 AM

What about East Of The Sun, West of The Moon?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dwarves growing out of stone
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 18 May 13 - 06:20 AM

It's a fine tale for sure, but of a different order to the more (dare I say?) realistic / every day stories in which the trolls feature as a more immediate device for various levels of vernacular cunning & humour. This is one of features of the Norwegian tales I've liked since childhood - things like The Boy & the Devil sit well alongside such dysfunctional sit-coms as The Man Who Kept House and (my favourite of them all) Axe Handle, which have no supernatural element to them at all. The Devil is more obvious, though I've long suspected he was (at heart) a troll. Trolls aren't so much super-nature, as a personification of nature in all its harshness, hence the decided lack of respect which marks them out from other 'elementals' in other traditions. You would never, for example, treat the Little People of Irish folk tale the way trolls are dealt with in the eventyr.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dwarves growing out of stone
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 18 May 13 - 09:13 AM

Hello, Blandiver. I remember the names Abjornsen and Moe, and the title 'East of the Sun and West o' the Moon' from childhood. You do bring back the memories!

Ill see if I can find 'the Axe Handle'.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dwarves growing out of stone
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 18 May 13 - 10:00 AM

No luck with the Axe Handle, but I did find and enjoy 'The Three Aunts,' which has a new and delightful viewpoint on the ugly, witchy old woman.

http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/authors/asbjornsenmoe/threeaunts.html

Morwen, I had an idea for a story you might like to write. Go back to the idea that a troll is a tree trunk come to life. There's a troll devastating a city and killing people. (You work out the details.) It's very ugly, gray and twisted and snaggly, but it has one thing different - a flower in its hair?, a tree branch for a weapon? - something like that.

Somebody imprisons the troll somehow and deprives it off water to kill it. Somebody smart comes along and plants the flower or roots the tree branch. The troll finally dies in peace - that's what it wanted all along.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dwarves growing out of stone
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 18 May 13 - 04:12 PM

Here you go, Leeneia!

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~norway/GoodDay.htm


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dwarves growing out of stone
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 18 May 13 - 11:22 PM

@leeneia: I'll have to file that away in my brain.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dwarves growing out of stone
From: open mike
Date: 19 May 13 - 03:55 AM

i remember a scene from one of the OZ stories made into a movie that was done with claymation...where the stoens appeared to come alive.. not sure which book that was from ...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dwarves growing out of stone
From: open mike
Date: 19 May 13 - 04:21 AM

it was Return to Oz


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dwarves growing out of stone
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 19 May 13 - 10:02 PM

Isn't that the one where Oz is a delusion and Dorothy was going for electroshock treatment?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dwarves growing out of stone
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 20 May 13 - 10:52 AM

Thanks for the link, Blandiver. I enjoyed 'the Axe Handle.'


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dwarves growing out of stone
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 20 May 13 - 09:48 PM

There seems to be a pattern in how much the troll appears in (some) Norse tales as an antagonist or as a false bride.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dwarves growing out of stone
From: GUEST
Date: 21 May 13 - 01:35 PM

As to the "Mannish superstition that Dwarves grow out of stone." I don't know anything of Norse correlations, but you might actually take a look at folklore and fairy tales hailing from Mann itself for the possible source of Tolkiens statement:

http://www.isle-of-man.com/manxnotebook/fulltext/folklore/index.htm

http://archive.org/details/manxfairytales00morr

CS


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dwarves growing out of stone
From: GUEST
Date: 21 May 13 - 01:40 PM

On reading this thread I note that some posters seem to be under the impression that Tolkein was speaking of 'mankind' rather than Mann, the Isle. I rather doubt that is so.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dwarves growing out of stone
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 21 May 13 - 03:44 PM

I think it probably is Man rather than Mann, CS, but I have often been wrong before! I only surmise so because it is mentioned in a LOTR appendix. There is no mention of the Isle of Mann in that particular tome. Well, not by name anyway:-)

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dwarves growing out of stone
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 21 May 13 - 08:42 PM

CS: Yes, Mannish= human in a Tolkien context


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Dwarves growing out of stone
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 22 May 13 - 04:33 AM

Sorry! Yes of course I'm forgetting that Tolkien's appendix is still just as fictional as the rest of the book!


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