Monday, August 11, 2014

Word of the Day -- Pixie




Pixies (also pixy, pixi, pizkie, piskies and pigsies as they are sometimes known in Cornwall) are mythical creatures of folklore, considered to be particularly concentrated in the high moorland areas around Devon and Cornwall, suggesting some Celtic origin for the belief and name. Akin to the Irish and Scottish Aos Sí, pixies are believed to inhabit ancient underground ancestor sites such as stone circles, barrows, dolmens, ringfort or menhirs.

In traditional regional lore, pixies are generally benign, mischievous, short of stature and attractively childlike; they are fond of dancing and gather outdoors in huge numbers to dance or sometimes wrestle, through the night, demonstrating parallels with the Cornish plen-an-gwary and Breton Fest Noz (Cornish: troyl) folk celebrations originating in the medieval period. In modern times they are usually depicted with pointed ears, and often wearing a green outfit and pointed hat. Sometimes their eyes are described as being pointed upwards at the temple ends. These, however, are Victorian era conventions and not part of the older mythology.

In modern use, the term can be synonymous with fairies or sprites. However, in folklore there is a traditional enmity, even war, between the two races.

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