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1.

Chinese Mythology

KUI XING (KUEI HSING,

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

CHUNG KUEI) 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, Cn Deiril; 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 Swifts Gullivers 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 Dvalins 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, Andvaris gold became the hoard guarded by the dragon Fafnir.

Austri (East) One of the four dwarfs


named

after the cardinal compass directions. The others are Vestri (West), Nordi (North), and Sudri (South). Though these four dwarfs are mentioned in early Norse poetry, it was Icelandic poet Snorri Sturluson who gave Austri and his three companions the job of holding up the four corners of the sky. Austri is a name used often in Norse poetry. In some cases the name refers to a person involved in a conflict who is smaller and weaker than his opponent. In another use, Austri refers to the dwarf who steered a ship filled with dwarfs.

realm underground, and put them in charge of the Earths treasures of gold, other precious metals, and gems. The dwarfs were master smiths.

Dain (1) A dwarf mentioned only in

Hyndluljoth, a part of the Poetic Edda, as one of the creators of the gold-bristled boar Hildisvini. According to this poem, Dain and his brother, Nabbi, made the magical boar.

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. The goddess Freya found the dwarfs making the piece of jewelry and bargained with them for it. Berlings brothers were Alfrigg, Dvalin (1), and Grerr. They are named only in the Sorla Thattr, which is found in the manuscript Flateyjarbok.

crafted the great sword Tyrfing. The other was Dvalin (2). The dwarfs were forced to make the sword for a powerful king and, in revenge, they put a curse upon it. The story of that curse in the lives of the swords owners forms the center of an Icelandic heroic legend. It is told most completely in the manuscripts of the Hervarar Saga.

Dvalin (1) (Dwalin) A dwarf who, with

Brokk A dwarf who was the son of

Ivaldi and brother of Eitri. All three were well-known craftsmen among the dwarfs.

The Dwarfs The gods made gnomes and

dwarfs from the grubs in Ymirs rotting corpse. They gave them human form and endowed them with brains, but they were ugly, misshapen creatures, greedy and selfish. The gods gave them Svartalfheim, the dark

his brothers Alfrigg, Berling, and Grerr, fashioned the golden Brisinga men necklace coveted by the goddess Freya. They are part of the story that begins The Tale of Hogni and Hedinn, which is also known as the Sorla Thattr. When the goddess Freya discovers the brothers making the beautiful Brisinga men, she desperately wants the necklace and bargains with the dwarfs in order to own it.

Dvalin (2) One of the two dwarfs who

crafted the great sword Tyrfing. The other was Durinn (2). The dwarfs were forced to make the sword for a

powerful king and, in revenge, they put a curse upon it. The story of that curse in the lives of the swords owners forms the center of an Icelandic heroic legend. It is told most completely in the manuscripts of the Hervarar saga. DWARFS The small, ugly, misshapen creatures made at the creation from the grubs in the giant ymirs dead body. They were given the realm of Svartalfheim (land of the dark elves) in which to live. The gods put them in charge of Earths underground treasures: precious metals and gems. They were master craftsmen and fashioned many treasures for the gods (see Treasure of the Dwarfs under Loki). The poem Voluspa lists many dwarfs names, most repeated by Snorri Sturluson in Gylfaginning, but few of them are ever heard of again in the surviving records of Norse myths. Among the more memorable ones are Alvis, who, like many of the dwarfs, 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, who fashioned various gifts for the gods Dvalin, one of the dwarfs who made the Brisinga men coveted by the goddess Freya and who was turned into stone at sunrise Andvari, the dwarf who was tricked by Loki into giving up his gold hoard, upon which he then placed a curse Lit, the dwarf who was inadvertently cremated on Balders funeral pyre Nordi, Sudri, Austri, and Vestri, 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, Alf, Althjof (Mighty Thief ), An, Anar, Andvari, Aurvang, Austri, Bifur, Bild, Billing, Bofur, Bombur, Bruni, Buri, Dain, Dolgthrasir, Dori, Draupnir, Duf, Durinn, Dvalin, Eikinskjaldi (Oak Shield), Fili, Fith, Fjalar, Fraeg, Frar Hornbori, Frosti, Fundin, Gandalf (Magic Elf ), Ginnar, Gloi, Hannar, Har, Haugspori, Hepti, Heri, Hlaevang, Hliodolf, Hoggstari, Jari, Kili, Lit, Loni, Mjodvitnir (Mead-wolf ), Moin, Motsognir

(the Mightiest), Nain, Nali, Nar, Nidi, Niping, Nordri, Nori, Ny, Nyr, Nyrad, Ori, Radsvid (Swift in Counsel), Regin, Skafid, Skirfir, Sudri, Svior, Thekk, Thorin, Thrain, Thror, Vestri, Vigg, Vindalf (Wind Elf ), Virvir, Vit, Yngvi 22 dvalin