Tylwyth Teg

(terlooeth teig) .

Tylwyth Teg is a general name for the fairies in Wales, it means the ‘fair folk’. Like the euphemistic Bendith y Mamau the flattering name was thought to appease them, in an attempt to avert their kidnapping activities. Fairies would typically leave a sickly changeling child in the place of the healthy child they had stolen.

In many accounts, their king is said to be Gwyn ap Nudd. They are associated with a number of places in Wales, including the lake, Llyn y Fan Fach.They are like the Daoine Sidhe, and dwell underground or underwater in under hollow hills and in deep crevices, and to frequent ancient places such as Bronze Age Barrows or cromlechs.

They are small in stature and have golden or fair-hair and dress in white. Like other faerie folk they are fond of dancing and singing and making fairy rings. They are partial to golden haired mortals. The danger of visiting them in their own country lies in the miraculous passage of time in Faeryland. According to many stories time in their realm passed much slower than in ours, a day in their realm could be a year or a hundred years in ours. This difference could prove disastrous for any mortals returning from the fairy realm. They give riches to their favourites, but these gifts vanish if they are spoken of.They are usually portrayed as benevolent but capable of mischief. The Tylwyth Teg are said to fear iron and unbaptized children could supposedly be protected from them by placing a poker over their cradle.

They often interacted with mortals in the past and the fairy maidens are easily won as wives and will live with human husbands for a time , although they always longed to return to their own people.

One example of the Tylwyth was the Jili Ffrwtan, female fairies who were of a proud and amorous disposition.

A common belief was that the Tywyth Teg had Fairy paths upon which it was death for a mortal to walk.