Origin Of The Fairies
: NAMES GIVEN TO THE FAIRIES.
The Fairy tales that abound in the Principality have much in common with
like legends in other countries. This points to a common origin of all
such tales. There is a real and unreal, a mythical and a material aspect
to Fairy Folk-Lore. The prevalence, the obscurity, and the different
versions of the same Fairy tale show that their origin dates from remote
antiquity. The supernatural and the natural are strangely blended
together in these legends, and this also points to their great age, and
intimates that these wild and imaginative Fairy narratives had some
historical foundation. If carefully sifted, these legends will yield a
fruitful harvest of ancient thoughts and facts connected with the history
of a people, which, as a race, is, perhaps, now extinct, but which has,
to a certain extent, been merged into a stronger and more robust race, by
whom they were conquered, and dispossessed of much of their land. The
conquerors of the Fair Tribe have transmitted to us tales of their timid,
unwarlike, but truthful predecessors of the soil, and these tales shew
that for a time both races were co-inhabitants of the land, and to a
certain extent, by stealth, intermarried.
Fairy tales, much alike in character, are to be heard in many countries,
peopled by branches of the Aryan race, and consequently these stories in
outline, were most probably in existence before the separation of the
families belonging to that race. It is not improbable that the emigrants
would carry with them, into all countries whithersoever they went, their
ancestral legends, and they would find no difficulty in supplying these
interesting stories with a home in their new country. If this
supposition be correct, we must look for the origin of Fairy Mythology in
the cradle of the Aryan people, and not in any part of the world
inhabited by descendants of that great race.
But it is not improbable that incidents in the process of colonization
would repeat themselves, or under special circumstances vary, and thus we
should have similar and different versions of the same historical event
in all countries once inhabited by a diminutive race, which was overcome
by a more powerful people.
In Wales Fairy legends have such peculiarities that they seem to be
historical fragments of by-gone days. And apparently they refer to a
race which immediately preceded the Celt in the occupation of the
country, and with which the Celt to a limited degree amalgamated.