Bendith y mamau

List of beings referred to as fairies

The term fairy came into use in Western Europe to refer to certain kinds of folkloric beings. This term has been used to translate into English the folkloric creatures of many cultures that are more or less analogous to the Western European fairy.

This is a list of beings referred to as fairies that are not so called in their native folklore.

  • The Aziza are a beneficent fairy race from Africa, specifically Dahomey.
  • An alux is a type of sprite or spirit in the mythological tradition of certain Maya peoples from the Yucatán Peninsula.
  • The Aos Sí or sídhe are a powerful, supernatural race in Irish mythology.
  • The Curupira is a male supernatural being which guards the forest in Tupi mythology.
  • The duende refers to a fairy- or goblin-like mythological character. While its nature varies throughout Spain, Portugal, and Latin America, in many cases its closest equivalents known in the Anglophone world are the Irish leprechaun and the Scottish brownie.
  • Encantado, in Brazilian Portuguese, is creatures who come from a paradisaical underwater realm called the Encante. It may refer to spirit beings or shapeshifting snakes, or most often dolphins with the ability to turn into humans.
  • The Erlking is a malevolent creature that is said to lure children away from safety and kill them.
  • Cajun Fairies (The Feufollet in French) are an American legend that emerged along the bayou as early as the 1920's with a light (a ball of fire) that shot out into the sky, likely derived from the same natural phenomena as the will o' the wisp. The lights were known as fairies, spirits and sometimes the ghosts of loved ones.
  • Jogah are small spirit-folk in Iroquois mythology.
  • Menehune (pl./s.)/Menehunes (pl.): Hawaiian Forest Spirits that are said to be about three feet tall, though are almost never seen. They can be heard by a quiet solitary visitor to the forest, giggling, laughing bubbling joyful childlike laughter, over in the next clearing, sometimes surrounding a clearing in which the solitary visitor is located. Known to exist on Kauai; not known how widespread they are in the Hawaiian Islands.
  • Mogwai are, according to Chinese tradition, a breed of fairy-folk that possess superpowers, which they often use to inflict harm on humans.
  • Nymphs are female nature spirits from Greek mythology. Satyrs are their male counterparts.
  • Peris, found in Persian mythology, are descended from fallen angels who have been denied paradise until they have done penance.
  • Slavic fairies come in several forms and their names are spelled differently based on the specific language.
  • Tylwyth Teg or Bendith y Mamau is the traditional name for fairies or fairy-like creatures of the Otherworld in Welsh folklore and mythology.
  • Tien are heavenly beings variously translated as Immortals, Spirits, Angels and Fairies in Vietnamese folklore.
  • The Xana is a character found in Asturian mythology.
  • Yaksha are creatures often with dual personalities, found in Hindu and Buddhist mythology. On the one hand, a Yaksha may be an inoffensive nature-fairy, associated with woods and mountains; but there is a much darker version of the Yaksha, which is a kind of cannibalistic ogre, ghost or demon that haunts the wilderness and waylays and devours travelers.
  • Zână (plural Zane) is the Romanian equivalent of the Greek Charites. These characters make positive appearances in fairy tales and reside mostly in the woods. They can also be considered the Romanian equivalent of fairies.

References

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