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Chinese Mythology


attached. The DWARFS familiar to modern children from the tale of Sleeping Beauty are a variation of the gnome.

CHUNG K’UEI) An ugly dwarf in Chinese popular mythology who was discriminated against because of his features, even though he had earned excellent grades on the civil examination. He tried to commit suicide but was saved, in one version of the myth, by an enchanted FISH or turtle. (In some versions, he dies.) Kui Xing was worshipped by scholars studying for the imperial examinations. He assists WEN ZHANG, the god of literature. Artists portray him sitting on a giant sea turtle, holding an official seal and writing brush in his right hand to list outstanding scholar candidates. He lives in the STARS in the Ursa Major constellation.

3. Norse Mythology

Alfrigg One of the four dwarf brothers

who made the marvelous Brisinga men necklace for the goddess Freya. The brothers were talented at the smith crafts and were discovered one day by Freya as they worked on the golden necklace. They drove a hard bargain for the necklace. 

Alvis (All-Wise) A dwarf, tricked by

2. Celtic Mythology

dwarf Folkloric figure. Dwarfs or little

people found in most Celtic lands were immigrants from Scandinavia or Germany, where they were common folkloric characters resembling trolls. In Irish lore dwarfs were either FAIRIES or simply short people like the harpist of FIONN MAC CUMHAILL, Cnú Deiréil; the creatures in the former case were not true dwarfs but shapely small versions of normal-sized humans. Legends of pint-sized people inspired one of the great SATIRES of the English language, Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, whose human hero was a GIANT among the diminutive Lilliputians. 

Thor, who was turned to stone. Alvis had come to Asgard to claim the bride (perhaps Thrud, daughter of the god Thor) whom the gods had promised him. Thor, knowing that Alvis, like many dwarfs, liked to show off his considerable knowledge, lured the dwarf into a lengthy question-and-answer game. Thor asked Alvis for alternative names for the 13 words that were most important in the lives of Viking-age Scandinavians. These names the dwarf gave according to the main groups of beings that inhabited the worlds of Norse mythology. Alvis talked as the night wore on. At dawn, the Sun, which the dwarf had called “Dvalin’s Delight,” came up and turned Alvis to stone, as was the fate of all dwarfs caught in the sunlight. 

gnome Folkloric figure. Not a Celtic

creature at all, the gnome found in Celtic lands derives from medieval science and alchemy that imagined creatures appropriate to each of the four elements: salamanders (fire), nereids (water), sylphs (air), and gnomes (earth). The gnomes were thought to live under the earth, working perhaps as miners; the word itself may derive from genomus, “earth-dweller.” They are easily confused with such truly folkloric creatures as FAIRIES and KNOCKERS, but have no real legends

Andvari The dwarf whom Loki, the

trickster god, robs of his hoard of gold. Andvari had put a curse upon his treasure, including the ring, which was called Andvaranaut. Loki gave the treasure to the magician Hreidmar in compensation for killing his son Otr. Eventually, Andvari’s gold became the hoard guarded by the dragon Fafnir.

greedy and selfish. They gave them human form and endowed them with brains.  Dvalin (2) One of the two dwarfs who crafted the great sword Tyrfing. The dwarfs were master smiths. but they were ugly. Nordi (North). which is found in the manuscript Flateyjarbok. other precious metals. The dwarfs were forced to make the sword for a powerful king and. Dvalin (1).  Dain (1) A dwarf mentioned only in Hyndluljoth. The other was Dvalin (2). Austri (East) One of the four dwarfs named after the cardinal compass directions. Berling’s brothers were Alfrigg. The goddess Freya found the dwarfs making the piece of jewelry and bargained with them for it. a part of the Poetic Edda. The gods gave them Svartalfheim. The story of that curse in the lives of the sword’s owners forms the center of an Icelandic heroic legend. fashioned the golden Brisinga men necklace coveted by the goddess Freya. and put them in charge of the Earth’s treasures of gold. and Sudri (South).  Dvalin (1) (Dwalin) A dwarf who. They are part of the story that begins The Tale of Hogni and Hedinn. as one of the creators of the gold-bristled boar Hildisvini. which is also known as the Sorla Thattr.  Durinn (2) One of the two dwarfs who  Berling One of the four dwarfs who made the golden necklace or collar known as the Brisinga men. Berling. Austri refers to the dwarf who steered a ship filled with dwarfs. Austri is a name used often in Norse poetry. with  Brokk A dwarf who was the son of Ivaldi and brother of Eitri. the dark his brothers Alfrigg. They are named only in the Sorla Thattr. In another use. Though these four dwarfs are mentioned in early Norse poetry. crafted the great sword Tyrfing. misshapen creatures. The dwarfs were forced to make the sword for a . it was Icelandic poet Snorri Sturluson who gave Austri and his three companions the job of holding up the four corners of the sky. Dain and his brother. in revenge. she desperately wants the necklace and bargains with the dwarfs in order to own it. The other was Durinn (2). and Grerr. When the goddess Freya discovers the brothers making the beautiful Brisinga men. All three were well-known craftsmen among the dwarfs. and gems. The others are Vestri (West). they put a curse upon it. Nabbi. realm underground.  The Dwarfs The gods made gnomes and dwarfs from the grubs in Ymir’s rotting corpse. According to this poem. and Grerr. It is told most completely in the manuscripts of the Hervarar Saga. In some cases the name refers to a person involved in a conflict who is smaller and weaker than his opponent. made the magical boar.

Gloi. Jari. Har. had a vast store of knowledge and poetically listed the various names for the 13 most important words in the medieval Scandinavian vocabulary • Brokk and Eitri. most repeated by Snorri Sturluson in Gylfaginning. Nordri. They were given the realm of Svartalfheim (land of the dark elves) in which to live. Bofur. the dwarf who was inadvertently cremated on Balder’s funeral pyre • Nordi. Andvari. who. Buri. Fundin. Sudri. Thorin. upon which he then placed a curse • Lit. Dvalin. Mjodvitnir (Mead-wolf ). It is told most completely in the manuscripts of the Hervarar saga. Sudri. Regin. and Vestri. Fraeg. in revenge. one of the dwarfs who made the Brisinga men coveted by the goddess Freya and who was turned into stone at sunrise • Andvari. Althjof (Mighty Thief ). the four dwarfs who were bidden to hold up the four corners of the sky Here is the list of dwarfs named in Voluspa: Ai. Dori. Vestri. Skirfir. Frosti. The story of that curse in the lives of the sword’s owners forms the center of an Icelandic heroic legend. Ny. Radsvid (Swift in Counsel). Vindalf (Wind Elf ). Nori. Dolgthrasir. Heri. Hannar. Bild. Durinn. Hepti. Hliodolf. Virvir. Nyrad. but few of them are ever heard of again in the surviving records of Norse myths. Austri. Loni. They were master craftsmen and fashioned many treasures for the gods (see “Treasure of the Dwarfs under Loki). the dwarf who was tricked by Loki into giving up his gold hoard. Kili. Austri. they put a curse upon it. Thekk. The poem Voluspa lists many dwarfs’ names. Hlaevang. Fili. Bombur. ugly. Nali. Dain. Vit. Svior. Thror. Bifur. Skafid. Duf. Anar. Gandalf (Magic Elf ). Aurvang. Niping. Yngvi 22 dvalin . Frar Hornbori.  DWARFS The small. An. Alf.powerful king and. Draupnir. Nyr. Ori. Nain. Moin. Fith. Eikinskjaldi (Oak Shield). who fashioned various gifts for the gods • Dvalin. Vigg. like many of the dwarfs. Hoggstari. Motsognir (the Mightiest). Nar. Fjalar. Lit. Nidi. Among the more memorable ones are • Alvis. misshapen creatures made at the creation from the grubs in the giant ymir’s dead body. Ginnar. Bruni. Billing. Thrain. The gods put them in charge of Earth’s underground treasures: precious metals and gems. Haugspori.