Tylwyth Teg
Welsh: "The Fair Family"

The Tywlyth Teg is a pseudonym, similar to the Irish "good people" for the fairies. Dr. Rhys' Celtic Folklore says that the depiction of them is either that of small people, usually theives and tricksters, who torment unsuspecting humans, or as a little larger and stronger than humans, but still theiving milk and other food, or worse yet, were engaged in the practice of changelings. In each case, it is believed they lived in the mountains of Wales, not unlike the sídhe of Irish legend.

However, Rhys also says that some depict the Tylwyth Teg as beautiful people, a kingdom apart from the mortal world. Housewives were said to keep the house clean, for fear of offending these otherworldly nobles, who were renowned for their cleanliness.

As stated, they are essentially the same type as the Irish sídhe--sometimes described as vengful sprites, sometimes as noble spirits.

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Mary Jones © 2003