Why do we humans have such a love for gnomes? They are always portrayed as grumpy, mischievous little men with buxom ladies or they look like they have had one too many of their homemade brew. Is it the little pointy hats that are always red unless someone dares to paint them a wrong color. Or their white hair that gives them wisdom. Could it be their red and green clothes that remind us of Christmas and magic?
I have always liked gnomes. But there are a lot of not so great imitations of gnome figures out there. As long as the statues look the right way to me I approve. I didn’t realize how particular I was until at a flea market I found this amazing little lady Gnome. She was exactly how a gnome should look! Her face was wonderful and her eyes were happy and a little mischievous.
She stands about 3 feet tall and she has lived with me now for about 5 years. She has traveled with me wherever I’ve moved and I have even shared her with two friends of mine. We took turns having her live at our homes for good luck. Her name is Gretta and on the bottom of her base there is a copyright that says Rien Poortvliet, The Netherlands. If you know gnomes you know this name!
I had seen this book of ‘Gnomes’ before and when I started looking through the illustrations, I knew at once, Gretta was a statue of a real gnome. I bought the book and have now learned to really appreciate Gnomes.
The author has spent a great deal of time researching and getting the Real facts about Gnomes and Gnome life.
So I would like to share a few things that I found interesting that Rien has shared in his ‘Gnomes’ book.
First, the average Gnome is just under 6″ tall or 15 cm. This is without their hat of course. “Their feet are slightly turned inward for fast running over grass, dry leaves, etc.”
That may be why they are so loved by many…that turned in foot makes them seem childlike and harmless. Around 1200 AD, a well preserved statue of 15cm was found in a fisherman’s house in Norway. On the pedestal were the words,
which means ‘Gnome, actual height.’ This shows that gnomes have been here for a long time and have been seen by humans since 490AD.
Gnome men wear a red hat, green pants and a blue shirt. They always wear a tool belt because they carry a hammer, knife, drill, and files. When the gnome couple have children they always come in pairs. That makes a happy and full house quickly! Since no deaths are caused by illness the population changes generationally. Children stay with their parents until they are 100 years old. You can learn more about parenting and how gnomes are raised in the Gnomes book.
They have white beards and in their prime they may still have dark hair with their white beards. Their brightly colored clothing keeps them safe from birds of prey, who are their friends, when walking at night.
Their life span was 500-600 years old. I don’t know about now. With pollution and overcrowding as it is it may well be cut in half to 250 years. Who can say.