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Garden Gnomes and Their Past

Updated on June 23, 2013

Gnomes for Sale


Gnomes have been around for a long time. They are a part of the beliefs that went on in Europe and Scandinavia before the takeover of Christianity. They may have been there almost from the beginning of time for humanity. At the beginning of Christianity the gnomes were getting in a lot of trouble. Some people saw them as being something that should not still be there. They wanted them put away. Some thought they were like the devil. They wanted the devil and all put away.

They represented a type of thought that went on before the new religion came to be in the region. People underneath all of that probably still kept on with the ideas that were there before. The myths were there and almost all of the people knew about them. As you can see they are still here. If you look at the old religon for the first gods that they had, it is similar to the Christian god. I put a link on here about their old religion. It was a pagan relgion then.

After World War II the gnomes were banned in the new government in Germany, but that was because they were afraid of people attempting to ship illegal things in them. It is a whole business to people in Germany and Scandinaive making little gnomes, trolls and other things of that nature.

Another little doll or toy that is still here is the Tomte doll. It is used in Scandinavia a lot around Christmas. I saw them at first at the Christmas window of the Scandinavian airlines in New York City.The window was filled with the little dolls that seemed to have a life of their own and were all dressed up for Christmas. They even had little baby ones all in baskets. You can buy them also at Christmas or at other times. They are a symbol of the Scandinavian countries now. Some think they are like pixies. But I have seen it translated as gnomes by some in places. They are supposed to be given porridge there on Christmas for respect.

They also have a lot of different troll dolls and statues that they use all the time in Sweden. The trolls are kind of scary. The Tomten now are especially used around Christmas. There re has been a movement to turn them into a type of little Santa Claus that is benign and a Mrs. Santa Claus. But that is not exactly the case. They are little beings with minds of their own. They are still from the old religion. There are people now I am sure that know they are a part of the past. That is part of the big joke in Scandinavia.

But when I saw them there I just had to get one of them. I finally got one later. It was a lady one with a little red knitted scarf and hat. She was knitting a scarf also. All of them are always decorated nicely. They do sell a lot of them at Christmas. I have seen them lately on Etsy also. I liked the idea that I had a nice, authentic one.

Also the Tomten is called sometimes something that means a garden guard, a gardvard. The other name for them is a voror. So it is similar to the gnomes. They do look a bit like the gnomes. So the other thing is that voror is a name that means it is a guardian spirit to a person. It is like a person's guide that stays with them all their life long. It is there all of the time and is a kind of a guard for the person. So it is there and you do feel safe in a way when they are there. I always wonder as if there is something else there.

Garden gnomes grace many a yard now. But in the past there have been good gnomes and there have also been bad gnomes in the fairy tales. Some of them and the other spirits were ever so bad. They had lives that were going on long before the present culture was in place anywhere.

The garden gnome is said to have started in the 1800's by a Mr. Greibel in Germany. But other representations were most probably there ahead of that for a very long time.

Tomtes | Source

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    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      I don't have gnomes in my garden. My husband doesn't like them and I'm not crazy about them. I could have made all I wanted when I was in ceramic class and the ladies in the class made lots of them but I just never did. Your hub was very interesting. Voted up.

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Kay Badder 4 years ago from USA

      I hope legalistic Christian don't see this. Some are against Christmas trees. The same ones will say we can't have garden gnomes anymore. This was interesting.

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