Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Away with the fairies! Resources on Newfoundland fairy traditions

Nicole Penney and I have been busy little elves, working on a project we both love: Newfoundland fairylore!

We have had some requests from people about the tradition of fairies in Newfoundland and Labrador, so we've pulled together some links to online material that we think might be useful to people doing projects or heritage fair displays on the faerie folk, fairy belief, tradition and superstition.

The best place to start, however, is Barbara Rieti's excellent book, Strange terrain: The fairy world in Newfoundland.   It is the go-to book for anyone starting research on fairy traditions. I believe it is out of print, but local libraries should have a copy. We've also included a link below to Dr. Rieti's dissertation below, which is available online.

Another good-but-out-of-print book is Fables, Fairies and Folklore of Newfoundland by
Alice Lannon and Mike McCarthy, also possibly available at local libraries. We've included a great recording of Alice telling fairy stories in 2010.

Another good print resource is Peter Narváez's article “Newfoundland Berry Pickers ‘In the Fairies’: Maintaining Spatial, Temporal, and Moral Boundaries Through Legendry.” The Good People: New Fairylore Essays. Edited by Peter Narváez. University Press of Kentucky, 1997. Pp. 336-367.

If there is an important resource we've missed, email ich@heritagefoundation.ca.

Photo: detail from Newfoundland Faerie Ring sculpture by Morgan MacDonald.

Online Video Sources

Audio Files

Online Articles

Bishop’s Cove: John R Barrett. John What They Call Jackie. Decks Awash, vol. 18, no. 02 (March-April 1989). Pages 42-43.

Bulman, Andie. "Risking abduction by fairies to modernize a 1905 Newfoundland blueberry cake." CBC Sep 01, 2019.

Fairies. The Collegian, 1914, vol. 20, no. 01. pages 17 and 18.

The floating dead: N.L. inspired 'zombie faeries' photoshoot arrives in time for Halloween.  CBC News · Posted: Oct 30, 2016.

Folklore: Folk Beliefs. Encyclopedia of NL. Vol 2. Page 245

Helesic, Day. The Fairy Folklore of Newfoundland. Canadian Living. May 2015.

Janes, Burton K. The fairies of Conception Bay. The Compass. September 10, 2012

Jarvis, Dale.

Kelland, Ariana. Meet the fairy caretaker of Airport Heights. CBC Aug 27, 2019.

Lyver, Emily. Fear the Fairies. Kicker, September 21, 2017.

Milley, B. Joan. Little Fairies. The Collegian, 1939, [02], Summer. Page 23.

Noseworthy, Kayla. Fairy-Tales: Berry Picking and the Fairy Lore Connection. The Overcast. 14 September 2016.

Poems About Fairies. Collegian, 1939, [03], Christmas. Page 34.

Robinson, Andrew. Harbour Grace writer looks to fairies with latest novel. Aug 02, 2019.

St. John’s man tells court he was carried away by the fairies. Archival Moments.

Silvester, Nicole. Blast Those Little Fellas: The Fairy Folklore of Newfoundland. 11 September 2012.

Wilson, Lisa, ed. Folk Belief and Legends of Bay Roberts and Area. St. John's: Heritage Foundation of NL, 2014.


Rieti, Barbara. Newfoundland Fairy Traditions: A study in Narrative and Belief. Memorial University of Newfoundland, 1990.

Silvester, Niko. There’s a Piece Wad Please a Brownie: A Comparative Study of Offerings to the Fairies in Traditional Cultures and Contemporary Earth Centered-Religions. Memorial University of Newfoundland.

For those interested, Strange Terrain is still in print and was recently reprinted by its original publisher ISER Books, Memorial University. Their address is ISER Books, MUN, 297 Mount Scio Road, St. John’s A1C 5S7, (709)-864-3453,  iser-books@mun.ca , or www.arts.mun.ca/iserbooks/

Last Update: 19 December 2022 by Dale Jarvis

1 comment:

Dave Snow said...

Colleen Power's song "Taken Away by the Faeries" shows the magic of this tradition.