A History of Hobbits?

Ivan Seeking

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In lieu of the discovery of our tiny ancestors

Edit: I just noticed this. I meant to say tiny cousins; or something similar.

Scientists have found skeletons of a hobbit-like species of human that grew no larger than a three-year-old modern child (See pictures). The tiny humans, who had skulls about the size of grapefruits, lived with pygmy elephants and Komodo dragons on a remote island in Indonesia 18,000 years ago.

Australian and Indonesian researchers discovered bones of the miniature humans in a cave on Flores, an island east of Bali and midway between Asia and Australia.

...The original skeleton, a female, stood at just 1 meter (3.3 feet) tall, weighed about 25 kilograms (55 pounds), and was around 30 years old at the time of her death 18,000 years ago. [continued]
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/10/1027_041027_homo_floresiensis.html

I thought it would be interesting to put together any anecdotal evidence for encounters with these little beings. Not to be taken of proof of such encounters, this is just for fun.

One thing that I just noticed was in a link kindly provided by our member danielg, in the Myth and Mystics Napster above. Thanks danielg! :smile:

From Douglass Price-Williams, Dept. of Anthropology, UCLA
April 16, 1999

..."There came a little man up from the ground..he was half as long as a man, was clad in a white frock, and had black arms. His hair was curly."

"The following year I repaired to a place where a brook was flowing from a little lake. A little man with a pointed head, which was quite bald, came up from the stream." (p. 112. Both cases from the Angmagsalik Eskimos of Greenland).

"Shore spirits, who run about with a pointed skin hood on their heads; their breaches are queerly short, and made of bearskin. Their feet are twisted upward, and they seem to walk only on their heels. They hold their hands in such a fashion that the thumb is always bent in over the palm...they resemble most of all sweet little live dolls; they are no taller than the length of a man's arm" (p. 119. Iglulik Eskimo).

"A very beautiful woman. Her figure was very slight, she was no more than 71 cm. tall..Her hair fell down to her shoulders in short black tresses." (p. 121. Southern Tungu, Siberia).

I myself have received contemporary oral reports of "little men" traditions. Larry Peters, an old friend and former student, told me that established shamans in the Katmandu, Nepal, region, told him that they were taught their art by so-called "forest shamans," little beings with pointed heads. In 1997 I was invited to go to Katmandu by a Nepalese psychologist to study shamanism with him, and Larry and I would have delved further into this tradition. However, I was not able to go at the last moment. Another friend, Holger Kalweit told me that there was a strong tradition of little men who are supposed to live in Eastern Tibet, in Amdo province, with the Dzopa ethnic group. Holger also told me that on the island in the middle of Lake Titicaca, Bolivia, such "little men" are said to live side by side with ordinary people.

The above outline is just a sketch of the topic. What it all amounts to would warrant another discussion. I am just leaving it here for the moment. The only thing to note now is that some shamanic reports seem to go beyond the subjective - other people appear to report light phenomena and the like. To go further than this would need a more focused investigation. [continued]
http://www.nidsci.org/articles/price-williams.php [Broken]

If you know of any interesting folklore or legends of "the little people", please provide a link and quote. I should be adding here from time to time.
 
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Ivan Seeking

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The Disappearance of Little People Explained in German Legends

...In olden days dwarves used to dwell on the inheritance of Ifker in the farming community of Havirbeck. Evenings they are said to have come to the fireplace to warm themselves. [many stories]
http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/gone.html [Broken]
 
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Chronos

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Are you suggesting lore and reality may have causal connections? Sounds like a shotgun wedding to me. It also sounds reasonable. There are no bad questions, just bad answers.
 

Ivan Seeking

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Chronos said:
Are you suggesting lore and reality may have causal connections? Sounds like a shotgun wedding to me. It also sounds reasonable. There are no bad questions, just bad answers.
I certainly don't mean to push this notion too hard but it seems worthy of consideration. Considering the recent history of these little people, other legends and lore suddenly seem much more plausible.

Hobbits Of The South Pacific
Why the discovery of a 3-ft.-tall dragon slayer is rewriting human history
By MICHAEL D. LEMONICK

Nov. 8, 2004

Subscribe below to instantly access this article - and over 30,000 articles in the TIME Archive. Your unlimited access will remain free during your paid subscription to TIME magazine.

Local folktales on the Indonesian island of Flores, some 350 miles west of Bali, tell of a race of shy little people — South Seas leprechauns who inhabited the limestone caves that dot the island, accepting gourds full of food that the Floresians would set out for them. It wasn't until Dutch traders arrived in the 1500s, according to the legends, that the diminutive race finally disappeared. Western scientists have long dismissed these stories as pure fancy, but now they are having second thoughts. In a report that rocked the world of paleoanthropology last week, a team of Australian and...

To continue reading the complete article, login or subscribe below and get free instant access. Get 12 issues of TIME for only $4.95

The complete article is 1540 words long.
http://www.time.com/time/archive/preview/0,10987,1101041108-749406,00.html
 

Ivan Seeking

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Hobbits? We've got a cave full

Chief Epiradus Dhoi Lewa has a strange tale to tell. Sitting in his bamboo and wooden home at the foot of an active volcano on the remote Indonesian island of Flores, he recalls how people from his village were able to capture a tiny woman with long, pendulous breasts three weeks ago.

"They said she was very little and very pretty," he says, holding his hand at waist height. "Some people saw her very close up...

...The prospect that some hobbits still exist in pockets of thick, fertile jungle on Flores is extremely unlikely, says Douglas Hobbs, a member of the team that discovered Homo floresiensis. But it is possible they survived near Boawae until 300 or so years ago, when the chief's ancestors moved into the area, he says... [continued]
http://www.smh.com.au/news/Science/Hobbits-Weve-got-a-cave-full/2004/12/05/1102182161157.html
 
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You don't need to look as far as Indonesia 16,000 b.c. to try and explain hobbit stories. Genetic disorders that prevent ordinary growth are rather common in ordinary people.
 

Ivan Seeking

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First runner-up: 'Hobbit' fossils
The first runner-up for breakthrough of the year was the discovery on the Indonesian island of Flores of fossils from a species of tiny humans who stood about 3 feet (1 meter) tall and had a brain less than a third the size of modern humans. Yet, the diminutive hominid lived about 18,000 years ago. This suggests that Homo floresiensis shared the planet with Homo sapiens, or modern people.

Science said some described the find as “the biggest discovery in half a century of anthropological research.”
http://msnbc.msn.com/id/6724037/
 

Ivan Seeking

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Tales of the Dartmoor Pixies

AMONG the superstitions of bygone times which still linger in Devonshire, the ideas regarding the pixies are undoubtedly the most interesting and romantic. Although the faith of the peasantry in the ability of these "little people" to exercise a control over their domestic arrangements is less firm than of yore, yet a notion still prevails that ill-luck will certainly overtake the hapless wight who is so unfortunate as to offend any of these diminutive elves. While instances are frequently related of help having been given to the farmer by these little sprites at night, the peasant who has only "heerd tell" of them, naturally looks upon them with some slight suspicion, and this lack of ocular demonstration on the part of the pixies it is that has somewhat shaken the faith of Hodge and Giles in their doings. However, let them be out late at night and hear some unusual sound at a lonely part of their road, or see, in the hollow below, the Will-o'-the-Wisp hovering about, and straightway they will begin to fancy the "little people" have something to do with it, and although they may he inclined to combat the idea, yet they will not be able to quite rid themselves of the impression that what they heard and saw was the pixies indulging in their midnight revels. [continued]
http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/eng/tdp/index.htm
 

Ivan Seeking

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I recently talked with a friend who believes all sorts of crazy things. Over the years I have found that not all of his ideas or beliefs are as crazy as they first seem, so I have learned to allow a lot of slack to see where things go. We talk from time to time and he always has some very unusual perspective on current events.

It turned out that he knew nothing about the hobbits. So I sent him a link, told him all about it, and mentioned the possibility, as some believe, that there may still be living hobbits. I expected him to jump all over this idea, but instead he really hit me sideways. The next thing from him was to question whether or not they had ever bred with humans. Then he told me that there are those who believe that elves crossed with humans, and certain elfin traits can still be seen in the human population. 'From there...well...I can't bring myself to repeat what he said from that point on... :biggrin:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elf
 

Ivan Seeking

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The Leprehaun

The Leprehauns are merry, industrious, tricksy little sprites, who do all the shoemaker's work and the tailor's and the cobbler's for the fairy gentry, and are often seen at sunset under the hedge singing and stitching. They know all the secrets of hidden treasure, and if they take a fancy to a person will guide him him to the spot in the fairy rath where the pot of gold lies buried. It is believed that a family now living near Castlerea came by their riches in a strange way, all though the good offices of a friendly Leprehaun. And the legend has been handed down through many generations as an established fact. [continued]
http://www.angelfire.com/or/mystifyme/2webfairy10.html
 
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Ivan Seeking

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... The existence and occurrence of the Indonesian "homosapien minimus" (not a real name) holds a lot of promise in uncovering the origin of many stories that have lasted 1000s of years in various human folklore. The stories are not passed along with a date, no copyright, so when we find possible, probable or definite sources of their content this helps to date the story and perhaps the era of that story.

For instance, there is a version of the Santa Claus tale from northwestern europe about Cinder Claus and his little black elf. Cinder Claus would reward any good children and the little black elf would stuff the bad ones in to Cinder Claus' bag and beat them with hammers... er... or like a broom or something (maybe a dash of waterboarding). Then they'd be abducted by the ruthless pair.

Looking at this tale with the knowledge of this Indonesian version of humans and with our knowledge of very early trading practices between Turkey and Scandinavia, (as early if not earlier than 300 AD after Scandinavians navigated the Dneiper River system through Russia to Istanbul) we can see that there may be a connection between the little black hellion and our Indonesian cousins. This is because once the Scandinavians got to Istanbul, they became privy to all of the blunders of the Turkish Empire and its outstandingly accurate navigational charts. On these charts are the Indonesian islands and their booty could have well included curious little "black" people that were perhaps collected and kept to breed during the previous millennia of Turkish history (of 23,000 yrs)...
https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?p=2192007&highlight=history+hobbits#post2192007
 
In lieu of the discovery of our tiny ancestors

Edit: I just noticed this. I meant to say tiny cousins; or something similar.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/10/1027_041027_homo_floresiensis.html

I thought it would be interesting to put together any anecdotal evidence for encounters with these little beings. Not to be taken of proof of such encounters, this is just for fun.
.
When news of these "hobbits" came out, I immediately thought the same thing (as did many others, I'm sure). It's a wonderful cause for speculation. Once can easily imagine these strange tiny people spurring all kinds of fanciful stories. It's very thought provoking. Wish there were some still around today!

Or maybe there are, and they wisely keep in hiding--there's no doubt we would descend upon them very intrusively if we discovered such beings today.

--Mike
 
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