Mythical creatures and Folklore


(excerpts, quoted from Wikipedia)

Mythical creatures

Adar Llwch Gwin, giant birds that understand human languages

Afanc, a lake monster (exact lake varies by story)

Ceffyl Dŵr, a water horse similar to the Kelpie

Cewri (Giants), such as Ysbaddaden Bencawr from Culhwch and Olwen, and Bendigeidfran from the Four Branches of the Mabinogi.

Coblynau, little people and mine spirits (like the Knocker (folklore))

Coraniaid, a mysterious race of beings who plagued the Island of Britain

Cŵn Annwn, hunting dogs of the Otherworld

Cyhyraeth, death spirit

Y Diawl (The Devil) who was said to have built various bridges in Wales (including Devil's Bridge, Ceredigion), and to appear to sinners in the form of a horned, black-faced shepherd leading a pack of dogs. Sometimes associated with the bobtailed black sow known as Yr Hwch Ddu Gwta.

Gwiddonod (Witches), old women who could cast spells over people and animals, ride broomsticks through the air, tell fortunes, and use charms to heal and cause diseases. They could take the form of a hare, and could only be killed with a silver bullet. Only Y Dyn Hysbys (The Wise Man) could undo the harm the cause.

Dreigiau (Dragons), the most famous being Y Ddraig Goch.

Y Dyn Hysbys (The Wise Man), or wizard. These could be clerics, men who learned about medicine and black magic from books, and those who claimed to inherit power from their families and thus could foresee the future, particularly on an Ysbrydnos, and give charms to ward off evil.

Gwyllgi, a large black dog that haunts lonely roads.

Gwyllion, a kind of spirit

Llamhigyn y Dŵr, a frog-bat-lizard hybrid

Morgens, water spirits

Plentyn Newid, the Welsh take on the Changeling creature.

Pwca, shapeshifting animal spirit

Tylwyth Teg, literally "the Fair Folk," the common name in Welsh for the fairy folk, inhabitants of the Otherworld

Ysbrydion (spirits), which are more likely to come in contact with humans on an Ysbrydnos or "spirit night" (see Calan Gaeaf, Calan Mai)

Folk narrative

Includes folk tales, legends, traditions and anecdotes. The cyfarwyddiaid (singular: cyfarwydd, "storyteller"), were members of the bardic order in Wales. The only historical cyfarwydd known by name is Bledri ap Cydifor ('Bledericus Walensis', 'Bleherus').

Folk tales and legends have also survived through retellings by common people. Storytelling could and does occur in many different forms: "gossip, games, dancing, and the reciting of riddles, tongue-twisters, nursery-rhymes, harp-stanzas, folk-songs and ballads."[1] Common occasions for telling folk narratives were the nosweithiau llawen (or "merry evenings," similar to a céilidh), nosweithiau gwau ("knitting nights"), and Calan Gaeaf (Winter's Eve).

Tales about animals with human characteristics

The most famous of these are the tales concerning the "Oldest Animals," in which a character gathers information from different animals until the oldest animal is located. Culhwch and Olwen lists the Blackbird of Cilgwri, the Stag of Rhedynfre, the Owl of Cwm Cowlyd, the Eagle of Gwernabwy, the Salmon of Llyn Llyw, and the Toad of Cors Fochno. The Triad "The Three Elders of the World" lists several of the oldest birds.

Formula tales

Including cumulative tales and stories without end.

Humor about actual persons or types

Includes White Lie Tales, which are obviously and intentionally untrue. Common elements include the narrator's experiences in America, adventures while being carried on wings of a large bird, growing enormous vegetables, prowess at shooting around corners, ability to see over great distances. Famous recent authors in this genre are James Wade (Shemi Wad), Daniel Thomas (Daniel y Pant), Gruffydd Jones (Y Deryn Mawr) and John Pritchard (Siôn Ceryn Bach).

A view across the gardens to the Palm House in Kew Gardens, in London, England. This is a 4 segment panoramic image. Visible in the foreground of the palm house are some of the replicas of the Queen's Beasts: the Yale of Beaufort, the Red Dragon of Wales, the White Horse of Hanover, the Unicorn of Scotland, and the Griffin of Edward III.

Vue d'ensemble de la serre à palmiers des jardins botaniques royaux de Kew, Angleterre. Image panoramique à quatre segments.


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