The colored sounding forming dreams
holding the breaths of our grandparents.
It is time we begin to listen.
— The History of Our Mother’s Dreams © MariJo Moore
As the magic of Summer Solstice approaches, the activity of the Faery folk increases and they may often be seen in the twilight hours. The Fey are known by many names in every culture throughout the world.
For instance, as I mentioned yesterday, many legends and myths of the Cherokee people refer to the “Little People,” or the yunwi tsunsdi, who live in the woods, waters and caves of the land of the tsalagi (a name by which the Cherokee call themselves).
Also sometimes known as the Nunnehi, the Gentle People, they are still seen and heard in the Great Smoky Mountains, where the southeastern band of the Cherokee nation, that escaped the horrors of the Trail of Tears, still dwells.
According to the lore, the yunwi tsunsdi are all immortal creatures who must be treated with great respect. The stories say that, “If something is found in the woods (a knife, arrowhead, feathers, etc.) it is a good idea to say, ‘Little People, I wish to take this thing. I need it,’ because it may belong to them. If you don’t acknowledge them, they may follow you and do you a mischief like hiding things from you or causing you to turn over glasses of water.”
The Little People are spiritual beings, but although they are different from people and animals, they are not considered “supernatural.” They are very much a part of the natural, or real, world and most people at some point in their lives, have an experience with spiritual beings. They are invisible unless they want to be seen. When seen, they look very much like any other Cherokee, except they are very small, and have long hair, sometimes to the ground.
The storytellers agree that they are mostly friendly and helpful but can become angry and even dangerous if treated disrespectfully. “Since almost everything has its group of Little People,” they say, “it’s best to respect everything.”
There are several Clans of the yunwi tsunsdi. Tomorrow, I’ll share more about this North American branch of the Faery races.