The mystery of gnomes has been around for millennia. Are they a real thing? Probably not. But their popularity hasn’t died out at all over the centuries, carrying with them the stories and mysteries of myth. Despite their rather intimidating appearance, gnomes are purported to be bringers of good luck and protection especially in your garden. Gnomes are big in the pop culture and you see them displayed in gardens as well as homes.
The traditional gnomes are closely linked to mythology of classical elements – earth, wind, fire, water. They are protectors of the earth, the nearby plants, and their personal underground treasure stash.
Gnomes live underground, another thing that makes them wildly mysterious. Looking intently at them makes them even more interesting and daunting. Gnomes are reported to stave off evil spirits (sort of like gargoyles), bring good fortune and pave the way to prosperity. All very interesting. So, why not hang on to a fun and interesting myth. They have been around for so long, why not?
Gnomes are popular as fairy tale characters and artists have a hey-day with them painting them in fern gardens, miniature homes, and mushrooms. Gnomes are slightly deformed miniature dwarfs. They are not evil and do no harm, but are very mischievous. They like to scurry around and play pranks on their unsuspecting audiences.
Gnomes are of the earth. They live underground and are protectors of the earth, flora and fauna. They seek wounded and dying animals which, they feel they are responsible to help. Gnomes, however, don’t care too much for cats. Most gnomes are depicted as male and wear a pointy cap that is usually red in color. Gnomes can run very fast, up to 35 miles per hour. They are very strong and exceptionally smart. Gnomes aren’t the same as trolls. Trolls are larger, and not nearly as smart. Trolls also are usually evil, playing dirty tricks on the gnomes.
Throughout their home range of central, northern and eastern Europe, they are known by a variety of names: kaukis (Prussia), tomten (Sweden), and barbegazi (France and Switzerland). In Iceland, gnomes (known as vættir) are so respected that roads are re-routed around areas said to be inhabited by them. (Google) So, they are pretty much recognized universally. Each culture may have their own version of a gnome.
A touch of mythology here. The child in me wants to believe in this mythology, its nice to daydream about gnomes in their garden paradise protecting the earth. They are also really cool to draw and have fun with. Put yourself into a fantasy world under a mushroom with a gnome. If you attempt to draw these, please post. I would love to see them!!