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The Magical World of Gnomes

Gnome origins are woven into European folklore, dwarfish, subterranean goblin, or earth spirit who guards mines of precious treasures hidden in the Earth. These unique creatures are incorporated into medieval mythologies; they are usually small, physically deformed (usually hunchbacked) creatures resembling a dry, gnarled old man. Gob, the king of the gnome race, ruled with a magic sword and is said to have influenced the melancholic temperament of man.

What is the History of the Magical world of Gnomes

Gnomes have a long and rich history, dating back to ancient times. They originated in the mountains of Switzerland. Their name is derived from the Swiss German word “gnome,” meaning “earth dweller.” Gnomes traveled to the USA with European settlers in the 1600s. They instantly became popular garden decorations.

How to spot a gnome. They are typically portrayed as small, bearded men wearing pointy hats. They are often mischievous or even downright naughty. But despite their sometimes-naughty reputation, gnomes are generally considered benevolent creatures that bring good luck to those who have them in their gardens.

And many people believe gnomes possess magical powers to protect or punish people and reward them with happiness and treasures like gold! European magicians and mystics thought gnomes represented the most essential fundamental spirits of the earth, water, fire, and air elements. Supposedly, gnomes wore conical hats because that allowed them to move through the Earth as quickly as humans walk on land.

Stories and Fairy Tales Featuring Gnomes

  • The “Oz” books by L. Frank Baum have “Nomes,” later changed to “Gnomes,” as their primary antagonists. These creatures are subterranean immortals, without beauty or calm, with squat bodies, long beards, and a deep concern for amassing gems and precious metals.
  • 1942’s “The Little Grey Men,” tells of England’s last-surviving gnomes, squat creatures who live out in the wilderness and survive as hunter-gatherers.

  • Wil Huygen’s “Gnomes” and “The Secret Book of Gnomes” give glimpses of what life is like for these creatures who live in all of the secret corners of the world, work in harmony with nature, and do their best to avoid trolls. These books were compelling enough to inspire “The World of David the Gnome,” a cartoon.

  • Gnomeland, An Introduction to the Little People” is a fun book by Margaret Egleton about how people use gnomes in their daily lives.

Gnome Creativity for kids

Ruffles & Rain Boots share Gnome’s crafts and decor to create cards, gifts, products, and more.


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Judy Kundert

Judy Kundert, a recipient of the Marquis Who’s Who Excellence in Authorship award, loves storytelling, from folk and fairy tales to classics for elementary school children. She authors award-winning middle-grade novels designed to inspire and intrigue children. After she left her career as a United Airlines stewardess, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Loyola University, Chicago and a Master of Arts from DePaul University, Chicago. Most recently, she completed a master’s Certificate in Public Relations and Marketing from the University of Denver. For fun, she likes reading (usually three or four books at a time), watching movies from the oldies to the current films, traveling, biking, and hiking in vast Colorado outdoors with her husband. Learn more at can find me at the foot of the Colorado Rocky Mountains hiking, biking

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