Historical and Archaeological Evidence That Fairies Existed
The Widespread Belief in the "Wee Folk"
How could so many cultures all over the world have their own version of the fairy? Is it possible that these fairy tales and legends come from some hidden truth? Or perhaps the original human beings held a belief in the wee folk and this belief spread across the world with each migrating tribe.
If we go back to ancient times and travel around the world visiting each continent and each large culture, we would see that every one of them held some sort of a belief in fairy-like creatures. Of course they all had different names for fairies, but the beliefs were similar in that these creatures were usually of small stature, some had wings, and all were mysterious and/or dangerous to human beings. This belief continued into the Dark Ages in Europe and even a large amount of the North American Native tribes held their own beliefs in the "little people". Many believe that fairies exist, even today in our modern, science-driven world.
But is there any evidence that these beings ever existed? We will examine some of the potential archaeological and historical evidence to support the widespread belief in fairies. And then you can decide for yourself whether to believe...
The Broighter Gold Boat
The Broighter Gold Boat is an archaeological find that is very special to the Irish people, even to this day. At first glance of the picture above, one might expect that this boat is life-size but in reality this boat is quite small. It measures to about seven inches in length and about four inches wide. But why would anyone make a small boat out of gold?
This boat dates to the first century, B.C. and was discovered in Ireland in the late 1800s by a farmer. Along with the Broighter Gold Boat came a discovery of other treasured gold items dating to Ireland's Iron Age. All of these archaeological finds are in the national museum in Dublin and are said to be the greatest archaeological find for the country of Ireland. Quite a bit of fighting over the items occurred in the early 1900s with Great Britain trying to claim the items for themselves, but inevitably the items have stayed in Ireland where they were originally found.
The question is, why did the people of Ireland make a tiny boat of gold? Historians claim that this boat was made specifically as a means to carry offerings to the Manx sea god - Manannan Mac Lir. In fact, this is what the museum will tell you if you ask about the Broighter Gold Boat. But I have a different theory - I believe this boat was actually a boat of the wee folk's. There is too much detail put into the Broighter Gold Boat for it to merely be a votive offering piece. It even comes complete with tiny oars to paddle the boat! Quite possibly it might have been a royal fairy's boat when the fae would take to their raides. But I am positive that no one would ever convince science or history of this idea.
What about the gold torc and other gold items found along with the boat that were of human size? Well, perhaps this might disprove my theory, but we can only imagine the possibilities.
What do you think?
The "Hobbit" of Flores Island
There have been many legends of small people in dozens of cultures throughout the world. Some of the Native American tribes have their stories of "little people", just as the Irish have their legends of the "wee folk". On an island in Indonesia, there are legends of the Ebu Gogo who were said to be small-statured people that lived on Flores island until being killed off in recent centuries. These are just a few legends of many.
The Ebu Gogo are attributed to having left behind the body of the "Hobbit" found in Flores in 2003. The body was found by a team of archaeologists who were searching specifically for the remains of human beings, but they came across the remains of homo floresiensis or what they called "the hobbit". This human-type being is said to have been about three and a half feet tall and lived approximately 50,000 years ago.
If we have archaeological evidence that small people existed, perhaps these are the beings that have spawned legends of the "wee folk" throughout time and culture.
But the hobbit of Flores is not the only small human-like being to have been discovered. Is it possible that these small people were a world-wide phenomenon and were mistaken for "little people" or "fairies" by modern-day homo sapiens?
The MacLeod Clan's "Fairy Flag"
The tale of the fairy flag has captured the imagination and fascination of hundreds of people throughout the years. The fairy flag is a tattered eighteen-inch-squared piece of yellow or brown fabric that is said to have been given to the Scottish MacLeod clan centuries ago. It is said to have certain magical powers and has been used to aid the MacLeod clan in various battles and sicknesses. It can still be seen in the Donvegan Castle on the Isle of Skye, alongside other MacLeod relics such as Rory Mor's horn (pictured above).
The fairy flag doesn't look like much now, but years ago it was said that it was a gold color adorned with red "elf" spots and red crosses. Legend has it that the MacLeod clan was gifted it by Titania, a fairy queen of Scotland. If the flag was unfurled three times, its power would also be unfurled but it could only be unfurled by the clan's first-born sons. Other legends say that the fairy flag was earned by a MacLeod family member by his defeat of an evil spirit during the Holy Crusades in a foreign land. And another tale claims that the fairy flag can be dated back to the MacLeods' Norse Viking origins.
No matter the history of the flag, many people still believe that its origins can be attributed to the "good folk" or fairies.
The Tiny Mummy
In the San Pedros Mountains in Wyoming, U.S., there was a story of a tiny mummy discovered in 1932. The body was passed around for historians and the like to inspect it and determine its origins. Unfortunately this tiny mummy was lost in the 1950s, never to be seen again. But we do still have a picture of it, as you can see to the right.
This tiny mummy was said to have been in a sitting position, but if it was to stand it wouldn't have been taller than two and a half feet. Its head and all of its features were small but proportionate to its supposed height. The thought that human-type creatures might have lived in the United States backs up the belief in the "little people" by various native tribes. Even in modern times, some tribes will leave offerings in the mountains for these "little people". These little people were said to be magical and/or extremely vicious...or both.
Was the tiny mummy in the San Pedros Mountains archaeological evidence that the little people or "fairies" may have existed at one time?
Fairies: Magical or Mistaken?
We can speculate that these little people mummies and artifacts found in various countries may have been the reason legends of fairies have circulated our books for centuries. Maybe our fairy tales are simply stories of little people created by our ancestors to explain what we didn't understand. If these little people liked to stay isolated from the taller human beings (us), that means that they were most likely shrouded in mystery. And the things that we don't understand are things that we tend to blow out of proportion. Maybe the little people were actually physical beings that we turned into magical beings, for our ancestors' lack of experience and knowledge of these beings.
Or maybe fairies were something completely different from these "little people" and they have just been lumped together in one category because its easier for us to understand it this way. Perhaps fairies were indeed magical or supernatural beings that were a worldwide phenomenon during the times of our ancient ancestors. If they were spiritual beings, perhaps they still exist today...
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This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
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© 2014 Kitty Fields