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A Game of Gnomes

1 Game of Gnomes Maybe your grandmother had one. Maybe it had a cute name like "Geoffrey Greenbeard." Maybe it went on an adventure once or twice and returned with pictures, a sun-tan, and souvenirs. Maybe, years later and in the present day, you're not so sure what happened to it once the family moved on and it was released from its duties as a garden sentinel. What are we talking about? Garden gnomes, of course! They might look like cute, mysterious, fun-loving little fellows - but behind their cheeky facades lies a history as twisted and confounding as the plot of A Game of Thrones. MANAA Once Upon A Time The modern garden gnome is based on a mythical creature, also called a gnome. The name is thought to derive from the Latin word "genomos," which means "earth-dweller." It might also be related to the Greek Paracelsus first used the term "genomos" to describe a spirit associated with the classical element of earth. Centuries later, they would be described in fairy tales along with similar creatures like kobolds and knockers. Kaldil word "gnosis," which means "knowledge." According to Paracelsus, gnomes could move through the earth as if it were air, wore conical hats, and if they were ever struck by daylight they would turn into stone. In the fairy tales, gnomes often protected valuable treasure from greedy humans. Being benevolent spirits, they would usually help pure-hearted people. Šometimes they would reward heroes with gold! Cultures all over the world celebrate spirits similar to the gnome. In Ireland, leprechauns are a kind of gnome; Finland has the tomte, and France has the barbegazi. All the way in Japan, spirits like the bakemono, yokai, and tengu have similar traits to the European gnome. There are three commonly accepted categories of garden gnomes: worker gnomes, which carry tools like shovels and fishing poles; leisure gnomes, which are depicted reclining or smoking a pipe; and cultural gnomes, which often carry a musical instrument of some sort. The Legends Grow It's hard to say when the first "modern" garden gnome was created. Many credit a German man, Philip Griebel, with crafting the first popular garden gnome statues in the mid-1800s. MARKET Griebel was inspired by the legends that swirled around his hometown of Graefenroda, Thuringia, which told of earth spirits who rose up from the ground in the night to help good people grow crops in their fields and flowers in their gardens. Gnomes Garden gnomes are said to be nocturnal creatures - they come alive to tend and protect the garden only at night. This may relate back to Paracelsus's original description of the genomus, which turned to stone when struck by daylight. SALE The first gnome is thought to have gone to market in 1884, in the city of Leipzig. From there, many German ceramic makers began producing gnomes to take to market. Soon they had spread all over Europe. A Smashing Arrival In England IRELAND UNITED KINGDOM Garden gnomes made a unique impact when they crossed the channel to England. ATLANTIC Channel English OCEAN FRANCE Swiss bankers, known for their secrecy and power, are sometimes called "The Gnomes of Zurich," which may be a reference to myths in which gnomes were said to be guardians of fantastic treasures and earthly delights. In the 18th century, a tradition of hiring "professional hermits," who were forbidden to shave or bathe, became fashionable among the English elite. These hermits were allowed to live on a rich man's land, and were sometimes asked to tend the land, compose poetry, and exemplify the virtue of melancholy, which was a popular mood in the art of the period. Garden art - including things like statues and fountains - later became popular in the 19th century among these same wealthy elite. London's Chelsea Flower Show, arguably the most famous garden show in'the world, does not allow garden gnomes in its presentations. For the show's 100th anniversary, gnomes were allowed to be displayed - but that seems to have been a once-in-a-century occurrence. Garden gnomes were a kind of fusion of both of these traditions, which may have boosted their popularity. At first expensive and imported from Germany, garden gnomes would not set foot on the lawns of "commoners" until the progress of technology made it easier for them to be made and transported. The Modern Gnome During and immediately following World War II, production of garden gnomes practically ceased in Germany and elsewhere. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, production began again and accelerated in eastern Europe and China. "Gnoming" is a practice wherein someone kidnaps a neighbor's gnome and takes it on a trip with them. By taking pictures of the gnome having adventures, sending letters as if they were written by the gnome, and other creative practices, the gone on an adventure all by itself. e gnome is said to have Today, gnomes are a democratic luxury. Almost anyone can own one and partake in the joy they bring! No longer are they confined to the gardens of the rich or influential. Gnomes are said to be a fun-loving sort, so surely they're glad to be free. Some organizations seek to "liberate" gnomes from perceived servitude. The most famous, France's Front de Libération des Nains de Jardin (FLNJ) steals gnomes from gardens and releases them in local forests, which are said to be their "natural habitat." Шпи SOURCES: MJJSALES market umbrellas

A Game of Gnomes

shared by Michaelson on Jan 19
Gnomes are as much mysterious as they are lovable and that might explain why they have proven to be as popular as they have been for the last several hundred years. This beautifully stylized infograph...


MJJ Sales



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